'heart wrenching' | 

Viewers of Katie Hannon’s new show praise ‘deeply moving’ words by Mother & Baby home survivor

“How dare the government do this to us.”

Katie Hannon presents 'Upfront'. Picture by RTÊ/Naoise Culhane

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Viewers of Katie Hannon’s new show have praised the powerful moment a survivor of the Mother & Baby homes shared her story.

Collette Shiels told viewers: "I go myself, I pay myself to go to a psychotherapist every week because I want to and I’m speaking up for my mum because I’m proud to say I’m her daughter.

"How dare the government do this to us.”

Another survivor of a Mother & Baby Home, Conrad, also told of his experience – including being used in “vaccine trials” as a baby.

He paused his re-telling as Collette became emotional in a moment viewers described as “deeply moving” and “heart wrenching.”

Through tears, she said: “It’s just as I say, I’m not giving up, Katie. I want to do this for my mum. I’m proud to say she is my mother and I’m proud to be her daughter.

"No amount of money would compensate for what happened to my mum. I will never forgive them.

"I am not a revengeful person, but while there’s breath in my body I want to be treated equal and fairly, and I want justice.”

Former RTÉ presenter Emer O’Neill, who was on the panel, said: “I think there’s a certain amount of importance like, while it’s horrible to see someone in such distress, it’s the human side to all of this.

"Monetary value aside, the trauma that families have gone through is incredible. And I think that that’s not being acknowledged in this redress, really the true humanity side of it is being missed.”

Viewers took to Twitter to praise Collette, with one asking: “Will the government take note of this. It’s heart wrenching.”

"I felt so sorry & angry too!” another added.

"I’m so glad you spoke up, your mother is very proud I’m sure of that! “

Another campaigner Frank Brehany said: “Deeply moving. The Oireachtas really doesn’t understand what its done via Government backbenches.

"Like Collette, I too am doing this for my Dad (Francis), Grandmother (Mary). In death, they’ve a right to be treated equally, fairly and with justice.”

One said: “Terrible things went on in this country, it has left a stain on the entire population.”

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