Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (230)

Denis Naughten

Question:

230. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will confirm that it is his intention to legislate to retain evidence given to the Ryan commission by victims of abuse; if it is also his intention to make provision in any such legislation on evidence and documentation collated in connection with the vaccine trial module of the inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24390/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Government agreed in principle to my bringing forward legislative proposals to allow for the retention of the records of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, the Residential Institutions Redress Board and the Residential Institutions Review Committee. These proposals will include amendments to existing legislation where necessary. It is intended that the records will be retained in the National Archives and completely sealed for a period of at least 75 years following which access to them would be subject to strict safeguards. I will be bringing the legislative proposals to the Cabinet for consideration in due course. There will be consultation with all the stakeholders, including groups representing survivors, as the proposals are developed. The position in relation to the vaccine trials division of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse is that its work ceased in 2003 and the High Court found that the Order establishing the inquiry was ultra vires the 2000 Act. In preparation for its dissolution the Commission proposed to return the records supplied to their original sources and to seek the return of copy documents from third parties for confidential disposal. Having consulted with the Office of the Attorney General, I agreed that the Commission could proceed as proposed in advance of its dissolution. In 2012 the Commission announced that it had commenced dismantling the records of the vaccine trial division by returning the records supplied to their original sources and by seeking the return of copy documents from third parties for confidential disposal. I understand that the Commission has completed this process and that all records have been returned to their original sources.