New forum established for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes

The Department of Children is seeking expressions of interest from people

New forum established for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes

Members of the public pay their respects at the grounds where the unmarked mass grave containing the remains of nearly 800 infants who died at the Bon Secours mother-and-baby home in Tuam, Co Galway from 1925-1961 rests | Image: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

A new campaign is being launched for a forum of former residents of Mother and Baby Homes.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone is seeking expressions of interest for those looking to participate.

The collaborative forum will also be for those with a comparable experience in a county home.

The department says family members of former residents, and individuals providing related supports or advocacy, are also eligible to apply for membership.

It is intended that the majority of members will be made up of former residents.

The establishment of the forum is a direct response from consultations with former residents and their advocates.

The department says the forum aims to "support, facilitate and empower former residents to actively contribute to decisions on matters of concern to them and their families."

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone | File photo

The minister has published a Charter for the Forum, which sets out its general functions and provides a framework for its programme of work.

Launching the campaign, Minister Zappone said: "I believe this innovative approach will support and empower former residents to actively contribute to decisions on matters of concern to them and their families."

Application forms and an information booklet can be download from the department's website.

A national radio campaign about the forum will begin next week.

Information notices will also be put out in newspapers from this Sunday - and they will also appear in national and regional newspapers for the next two weeks.

Minsiter Zappone added: "I encourage all interested parties to engage with the process and to apply for the Collaborative Forum."

The closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Wednesday May 30th.