Independent Senator Sharon Keogan has called for an annual commemoration of ‘the lives of the vulnerable women and children’ who died in Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes.
Speaking to the Seanad, Senator Keogan highlighted the need for concrete action on the part of the government in the form of a redress scheme, and that without it, their ‘apologies mean very little.’
Invoking the spirit of the separation of powers, she pledged to “keep a keen eye on the promises that the Government are making” and stated that she will be “holding them accountable.”
Bringing her proposition to the chamber, Senator Keogan said: “Reflecting on the lives of the 9,000 women and children who died in these homes in such sad circumstances, I would like to propose a National Day of Remembrance for them, perhaps on the first day of spring.
“We commemorate the lives of soldiers who die for the nation and the state – it is fitting then, that we commemorate the lives of the vulnerable who suffered and died due to the neglect of the nation and the state
The Independent Senator also called on the Taoiseach to forego the customary St. Patrick’s Day visit to Washington D.C. in light of ongoing coronavirus travel restrictions.
Echoing the suggestion of Independent Councillor for Kerry Charlie Farrelly, Senator Keogan recommended CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan, who is currently in the USA, as a suitable Irish delegate to the White House – or indeed, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States Daniel Mulhall, who attended US President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Senator Keogan affirmed that such an action would give credence to the phrase that ‘we are all in this together.’