SDLP MLA and Executive Office Committee Chairman, Colin McGrath has said that details emerging over the weekend that children’s bodies from Mothers and Baby homes were donated to universities for medical research without parents’ permission are harrowing and further evidence that a full all-island investigation into these units must be undertaken.
Commenting the South Down MLA said:
“These families were let down by the state. Mothers were treated appallingly and now it has emerged that some stillborn babies and children who died at a very early age had their bodies donated to universities without the permission of their parents – which wasn’t legally required at the time.
“In life these children were let down and treated abominably – even in death they weren’t afforded any dignity.
A thread on mother and baby units. Shocking news over the weekend that 27 stillborn babies were “donated” to universities for medical research.@eunanduffy is bringing into focus another element of this scandal. @SDLPlive https://t.co/0hBV82V9ya pic.twitter.com/3h2b8cmiE0— Colin McGrath MLA (@ColinSDLP) July 5, 2021
“This appears to have been common practice across the whole island and goes back to a time before partition. There must be a full, open and transparent investigation into this matter so the full scale of this practice can be detailed. The fact that some campaigners are having to use the route of Freedom of Information is unacceptable – the information must be researched and published.
“I will be seeking to raise this matter urgently in the Assembly this week. I hope that the joint First Ministers understand the importance and sensitivity of this issue and will instruct officials to investigate the matter and report back to MLAs.”