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The Social Democrats have written to the Office of the Data Protection Commission requesting that they examine the destruction of survivors’ recorded testimonies by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Jennifer Whitmore TD, who is the party’s spokesperson for Children, said:

“The simple fact is that 550 testimonies have been destroyed. While the commission claims that permission was sought from and granted by survivors, this has repeatedly been contested by those who bravely came forward with their harrowing stories.

“The Social Democrats have grave concerns regarding the destruction of these testimonies by the Mother and Baby Commission and the legality of this action under Article 6 and 9 of GDPR legislation.

“We believe the destruction of these files does not have a legal basis under any national or EU statute. We have now written to the Office of the Data Protection Commission asking them to examine these aspects.

“Yesterday, I confronted the Minister on this issue during a meeting of the Oireachtas Children’s Committee. He responded that he was seeking legal advice from the Attorney General and was not in a position to comment on his or the Government’s view on the destruction of the recordings.

“This is simply not good enough. The Minister’s reply echoes the failings to date by the Government to adequately respond to survivors’ needs and honour the promises made about allowing them access to their data.”

February 17, 2021

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