Local reps need to 'get off the fence' on Sean Ross issue

Darren Keegan

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Darren Keegan

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news@tipperarylive.ie

Local reps need to 'get off the fence' on Sean Ross issue

The darkest chapter in Roscrea's modern history must be confronted by the town's current local representatives to assist survivors, according to a  Roscrea man championing the cause of people affected by Ireland's scandal of mother and baby homes.

Michael Donovan, a member of the Roscrea Sinn Fein Cumann and Teresa Collins, who was born in the former mother and baby home in Sean Ross in Roscrea which was run by a religious order, are pleading for local representatives in Roscrea to assist them in their campaign.

The call comes at a critical time in the story of the former Roscrea facility, which is the subject of a government report which was due to be published next month.

It was revealed earlier this month the publication of the  highly anticipated report could face a delay, which campaigners have strongly condemned - news which came against a backdrop of silence from most local and national representatives.

Tipperary Sinn Fein TD, Martin Browne, has led the charge for the cause of the Sean Ross campaigners at Dáil level and Michael Donovan and Teresa Collins are appealing for local representatives in Roscrea to put politics aside and lend their assistance for the issue to no longer be “swept under the carpet.”

Speaking to the Tipperary Star this week, Michael Donovan said he and others calling for the disclosure of the Commission on Mother and Baby Home's report findings feel “let down by many of our local representatives”.

“ This is a very serious issue and it has not been given the attention it deserves by our local TDs and councillors with the exception of Martin Browne”, he said.

Recent revelations that far greater numbers of children are buried in unmarked graves in Sean Ross than initially believed has heightened the anticipation of the report's findings, with current numbers believed to exceed 1,000 children.

Describing the findings as “staggering”, Mr Donovan said the number of children interred in unmarked graves in Roscrea is now understood to surpass those in Tuam.

“The files need to be released in full. Local TDs and Councillors need to get off the fence and start helping the group in Sean Ross Abbey get the answers the closure for all who have been affected and to all who have sadly passed on”, Mr Donovan said.

“It's been swept under the carpet for too long and I am calling on the local representatives who promised months ago that they would get behind the group and speed up the release of the report to do so now.

“People affected deserve and need closure. It won't happen until they get the truth”, Mr Donovan said, reiterating the call for the report's full publication next month.