CHURCH’S HISTORIC TREATMENT OF SINGLE MOTHERS AND THEIR OFFSPRING STRONGLY CRITICISED BY S.F. COUNCILLOR

20 February 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Forceful criticism of the historic treatment by church institutions of unmarried mothers and their offspring, and of how religious institutions exercised a social dominance over the country in previous decades, was voiced by Sinn Féin’s Brian McKenna during a debate at Monday’s meeting of the Monaghan Municipal District.

Colr McKenna branded the treatment of single mothers by the religious institutions in which they were sometimes placed in the period from the 1940s to the 1970s as “a disgrace” and hypocritical, and condemned the taking away of illegitimate children from their mothers, often to be sent abroad. He also referred to the “darker side” of past Irish history when “the Catholic Church controlled and dominated how this country was run” and spoke disapprovingly of the difficulties placed in the way of these parents and children when they attempted to access records in an effort to trace each other.

The context for his remarks was a motion tabled by Fianna Fáil councillor Robbie Gallagher seeking support for the Adoption (Identity and Information) Bill 2014 being put forward by Senator Averil Power “which facilitates putting in place a proper system through which adoptees and natural parents may reunite if they wish.”

The motion was unanimously supported.

In moving it, Colr Gallagher referred to the case of Philomena Lee and Martin Sixmith, the subject of a best-selling book and subsequent successful film which told the story of how Philomena had tried …

 

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