Boycott Ireland's Fake "Dead Babies" Inquiry
Boycott Ireland's Fake "Dead Babies" InquiryJuly 17th, 2014
The Irish government just did a u-turn on the road to an effective judicial inquiry into practices which led to the uncovering of one likely mass grave of infants.
International media pressure had impelled the June 4th, 2014 announcement by the government that they would consult widely, form firm terms of reference and then launch a robust statutory inquiry. For a while, the administration's resolve seemed genuine, but announcements in the last 48 hours evidence a shambolic travesty.
Just days ahead of the planned announcement of the inquiry terms of reference, government 'leaks' to media began hinting that final terms of reference would be deferred to autumn.
That means the consultative process was a sham. What gave that process credibility was the assurance that even as consultation progressed, the relevant civil servants were burning midnight oil to process this wide consultation and meet the government's own ambitious target of finality before the legislative summer recess.
The administration had even created an interdepartmental group to coordinate it's response across multiple layers of governance. All this conveyed to victims(and the media) a sense of rapid resolve by government. But it was pure public relations spin.
Throughout June, 2014 - even as activist victim groups were briefing a government minister (with note-taking civil servants in attendance), the government knew the required massive civil service effort was -not- ongoing behind the scenes. It kept the public deadline as a facade to disarm suspicions about its intent.
It was a cynical manipulation. It used the lure of speedy action to entice activist groups into lending their credibility to the creation of a public relations sham.
Victims of the practices under investigation have been used a props in a PR stunt.
In the conclusions of the government's interdepartmental group (page 32) there is much talk of an "historical survey" leading to a "social history... of enduring significance."
Victims should boycott an inquiry which is now on course to be merely an oral history project.
We can instead simply tell our histories to journalists - as victims have already been doing.
We need no inquiry to produce a toothless coffee-table book on Irish abuses.
Voice for Irish First Mothers.