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General News / November 4, 2020

Survivors of institutional abuse will have access to their records

Image via News Dog Media
General News / November 4, 2020

Survivors of institutional abuse will have access to their records

Words: Dylan Murphy

Those who survived institutional abuse will be able to access their personal data Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirms.

Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns raised the issue in the Dáil and said the government’s decision to acknowledge people’s right to their own data was a “welcome” one in regards to survivors of mother-and-baby homes.

Referencing the Ryan Report and the McAleese archives, Ms Cairns inquired if the right to access that information was provided to all survivors. The Ryan Report relates to an inquiry into institutional child abuse from 1936 onwards whereas the McAleese archives relate to investigations into the Magdalene laundries.

Ms Cairns said she wanted to inquire if that right extended to all survivors, referencing both the Ryan Report and the McAleese archives. Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, “My own view is that GDPR applies in access to personal data and that’s the view of the Attorney General as well.” 

“I have no interest in any records being put into some vault and left there for a long time that no-one will have access to.” 

The Taoiseach said the plan is to create a “proper national centre where the archive will be held”.