26 Samh 2019, 16.18

The Joint Committee on Education and Skills heard evidence this morning from wide range of witnesses – including perspectives from legal, historical and human rights backgrounds – on a Bill that would seal records of redress bodies for 75 years. 

However, particularly poignant evidence given was from survivors who outlined, in a deeply moving way, the impact this Bill would have on them personally.

The Select Committee on Education and Skills was due to consider the Retention of Records Bill (2019) at a meeting next week.

But Deputies have now agreed to defer consideration of the Bill and are now seeking a response from the Minister for Education and Skills on concerns raised by survivors of institutions and legal experts about the legislation.

Chair of the Committee on Education and Skills, Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin said: “We had excellent engagement with survivors and legal experts on the proposed legislation at a meeting of the Joint Committee earlier today. We will be forwarding the Minister a summary of what we heard and we will be seeking a response from him addressing a number of the key issues raised.”

The Bill provides for records from the work of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Cica), the Residential Institutions Redress Board, and the Residential Institutions Redress Review Committee to be in the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) and sealed for a minimum of 75 years.

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Committee membership

Teachtaí

Fianna Fáil

Green Party

Fiona O'Loughlin - Cathaoirleach

Fianna Fáil

Labour Party

Seanadóirí

Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil

Sinn Féin

Independent