Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Ceisteanna (628)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

628. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the voluntary collection of DNA data of those believed to have familial links to those buried at the Tuam mother and baby home has commenced as recommended by a report (details supplied); if a location for the storage of such DNA has been chosen; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52618/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department, in consultation with other relevant Departments and Agencies, is developing detailed proposals for the operation of the voluntary administrative scheme for the collection of biological samples to which the Deputy refers. I hope to bring these proposals to Government early in the Spring session. In tandem, my Department has been developing the legislative proposals that were approved by Government on 10th December 2019, and which will themselves help define the scope of an administrative scheme. The administrative scheme will be subsumed into that legislation once it has been passed.

DNA profiles will not be generated from biological samples collected as part of any administrative scheme, until such time as the legislation is commenced and it is established whether viable DNA profiles for the purpose of comparison can be generated from the remains at the site. In terms of storage of the biological samples that may be taken under scheme, I fully recognise the need to ensure the protection of such sensitive data and it is the provisional intention that Forensic Science Ireland (FSI), as the national authority in this area, will take on this role.