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IrelandReport supports collection of DNA sample from Tuam survivors

08:20  12 september  2019
08:20  12 september  2019 Source:   extra.ie

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An independent report on how to identify human remains at a mother and babies home in Tuam , Co Galway has said it may be possible under existing laws to collect DNA samples from survivors to aid the process. Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone said she would act on Dr

More than 20 survivors of the controversial Tuam mother-and-baby home have urged the Government to begin collecting their DNA samples immediately. They say that results from their ageing and in, some cases

Report supports collection of DNA sample from Tuam survivors © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

A newly-published report has backed the collection of DNA samples from survivors of the Tuam mother and baby home.

The report was concluded by Dr Geoffrey Shannon at the request of Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone.

On Wednesday, Minister Zappone published the report, which states that it should be possible to collect DNA samples from Tuam survivors under existing laws.

Report supports collection of DNA sample from Tuam survivors © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Catholic League

Minister Zappone’s department is in the process of developing legislation in response to the discovery of a large number of juvenile human remains in a disused septic tank at the former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway, in 2016.

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Report on the Collection of Tuam Survivors ' DNA . Published: 11 September 2019 From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Report on the Collection of Tuam Survivors ' DNA . Download.

More than 20 survivors of the Tuam home called for the immediate collection of their DNA samples . They say that the samples should be banked Mr Varadkar said: "In order to take DNA samples from the remains, we require legislative authority and that will require the passing of legislation in this House.

Last January, more than 20 members of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network called for the immediate collection of DNA samples from survivors, insisting that the age and health profiles of those involved warranted urgent action.

DNA samples collected from survivors would be compared with any DNA profiles that may be constructed from the human remains discovered at the Tuam site in the hopes of making positive identifications.

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Report supports collection of DNA sample from Tuam survivors

In the event of positive identification, the remains in question would be returned to their family members for burial.

Dr Shannon’s findings assert that it should be possible to develop a voluntary administrative scheme for the collection of DNA samples under existing laws.

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Tuam survivors urge Irish government to begin DNA collection . The Tuam Home Survivors Network is urging the Irish government to begin their collection of DNA samples in light of the A fifth interim report is due on March 15 which will detail the process to be adapted for proper burials.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has published Dr Geoffrey Shannon's report on the Collection of Tuam Survivors ' DNA . It adds: "Dr Shannon considers that it should be possible to develop a voluntary administrative scheme to collect biological samples from relatives before the enactment of

Such a scheme would be subsequently integrated into legislation passed by the Oireachtas concerning the excavation of the Tuam site.

DNA profiles would not be generated from the voluntary samples in advance of the enactment of legislation.

Report supports collection of DNA sample from Tuam survivors © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Dr Shannon emphasised that any voluntary administrative scheme would have to be underpinned by the principle of informed consent in order to comply with constitutional requirements related to data protection and GDPR.

Participants would therefore be entitled to withdraw from the process at any time, and would be within their rights to request the destruction of any given samples or information related to their case.

Minister Zappone welcomed the report on Wednesday, stating: ‘I am very sympathetic to the concerns of survivors and family members that their age and health profiles introduce an element of urgency when it comes to the collection of biological samples.

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Last month, members of the Tuam Home Survivors Network called on the Government to begin collecting their DNA to eliminate any delay in returning human remains found on the site to relatives for dignified burials. The terms of reference request the Government’s special rapporteur on child

Identifying the remains of babies buried at the site of a former mother-and-baby home in, Tuam , Co Galways is possible with DNA testing, according to Last year, an Expert Technical Group warned that it would be impossible to get DNA identification of infants and young juveniles without samples from

‘Following Dr Shannon’s report, I intend to request my officials to develop an appropriate voluntary administrative scheme to collect those samples, subject to legal advice.’

Report supports collection of DNA sample from Tuam survivors © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Minister Zappone added: ‘I would like to sincerely thank Dr Shannon for his judicious and comprehensive assessment of the complex questions at hand. As he pointed out, it is not yet clear whether or not it will be possible to generate DNA profiles from the juvenile human remains that are of such a quality that will result in them being capable of yielding familial matches.

‘But I do not believe that this should be a barrier to hope and I am keen to give every possible opportunity to survivors and family members to try and identify the remains of those who they hold dear in their hearts.

‘My officials will now consult further with our legal advisers and relevant agencies towards developing an appropriate voluntary administrative scheme in the coming months.’

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