Urgent restoration of the Assembly and Executive needed to facilitate public inquiry for victims of mother and baby homes in NI, says McAllister

Alliance North Belfast MLA Nuala McAllister has said that urgent restoration of the Stormont institutions is needed in order to make progress investigating historical abuse in mother and baby homes, including the opening of a public inquiry.

Nuala McAllister

She spoke following news last week that a redress scheme for victims and survivors of mother and baby homes in the Republic of Ireland had passed in the Dáil.

This is yet another area in which the people of Northern Ireland, in this case women in particular, are being left behind, and let down by the current impasse at Stormont,” Nuala said.

As it stands, for any public inquiry to take place legislation has to be passed through and signed off by a functioning Assembly, which we’ve been unconscionably left without due to the DUP’s continuing boycott. It’s totally unacceptable.

Given the nature of this issue, and the task it presents of investigating abuse from up to 40 years ago, we absolutely cannot afford to delay the passing of such legislation to ensure that victims have the opportunity to finally achieve deserved and much-needed closure.

Under no circumstances do we want to repeat certain mistakes of the Historical Abuse Inquiry, which saw many victims and survivors tragically pass away before they could see redress.

“My Alliance colleague Paula Bradshaw MLA and I recently met with Birth Mothers and their Children for Justice and the Executive Office, where we asked that draft legislation for an inquiry be worked on in the absence of a functioning Assembly.

Whilst we hope that such progress can be made in the interim while Stormont remains down, it should never have been collapsed in the first place. The time for inaction has long since passed, and it’s essential that everything possible is now done to see justice delivered for these women and their families.”