Josepha Madigan apologises for comparisons between reopening of schools and Mother and Baby Homes 1 month ago

Josepha Madigan apologises for comparisons between reopening of schools and Mother and Baby Homes

This is the second apology issued by Josepha Madigan in the past seven days.

Josepha Madigan has apologised for comparing the abandoning of plans to reopen schools for children with special educational needs amid the Covid-19 pandemic to the institutional abuse suffered by those living in Ireland's Mother and Baby Homes.

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Speaking to Claire Byrne on RTÉ radio on Wednesday morning, the Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education said: “We’ve spent the last week talking about Mother and Baby Homes where our most vulnerable were left to their own devices in less than satisfactory conditions.

"We’re now allowing further anxiety and upset to be placed on the shoulders of parents whose children desperately need to go back to school."

She has since released an apology, saying: "This morning, I made comments on how important it is that our children with special educational needs return to in-person learning. As part of these comments, I reflected on how vulnerable people have been entirely let down in the past, and I made reference to Mother and Baby Homes.

"I in no way intended offence toward anyone who works with children with special educational needs. I am, as are all involved in supporting these children, passionate about vindicating their rights and in reaching for an analogy, I chose poorly.

"I apologise fully."

Madigan's apology comes less than a week after she apologised for her comments describing children who do not have additional education needs as "normal".