homes for single mothers, “a shameful chapter in history”

It all started with a memory, that of a bad trick played in the schoolyard. Catherine Corless, a stay-at-home mom who learns about local history in evening classes, decides to reflect on the past of the home for single mothers in her hometown, Tuam. She remembers the austere building, pale and skinny children isolated at the back of the classroom. And to have one day wrapped a pebble in candy wrap, to make one of these “illegitimate” believe that it was a candy.

→ READ. In Ireland, 9,000 children are said to have died in former homes for single mothers

This reminiscence taps her: what has become of toddlers? What about their mothers, “fallen women,” pursued by shame and rejection? What was their life like? In the city of 6,000 inhabitants, thirty kilometers from Galway, speaking is difficult. It is necessary “Leave the dead where they are”, they say, do not stir up the secrets of the past. The “Mother and Baby Home”, managed by the religious order of Bon Secours, closed a long time ago and a residential complex has appeared on the ground.

Septic tank filled with skeletons

In the 1970s, two children playing in the ruins came across an old septic tank filled with skeletons. “Deaths of Famine”, according to the authorities – because many did not survive this disaster in the region, dotted with commemorative monuments. Catherine Corless’s investigation will establish a completely different truth: by comparing the death registers, she identifies 796 children who died in the establishment, whose remains are buried in this mass grave.

→ THE FACTS. Catholic Church in charge after Irish single mother homes report

When she contacts the national newspaper Irish Times on Sunday, the Irish see ghosts from the past resurface. The international press and public opinion seized on the matter, forcing the government to establish an independent commission, in 2015. Because the children of Tuam are not alone: ​​their brothers, sisters and cousins ​​without fathers are born and died under similar conditions across the country.

An expected report

The survey covers 14 of these establishments for single mothers and 4 regional centers. It will take five years for the experts to assemble 3,000 pages of data and 1,000 pages of testimony, covering the period 1922-1998. Because the task is vast: through a meticulous work of historical comparison, it is a question of giving depth and complexity to the history of Irish women, ostracized from society for having been pregnant without being married.

Throughout the last century, the “Mother and Baby Homes” have served as a refuge for “dishonored” women, sent there by loved ones, fleeing shame and looking for a place to survive without money. The nuns offer them refuge, but separate them from their newborns. Educated separately, they will be sent to foster families or placed for forced adoption. The women work to reimburse the sisters, before leaving, most often alone. Those who “reoffend” and give birth to a second baby out of wedlock will end up in the Magdalene Laundries, (the laundries of the Madeleine Convent) kinds of prisons where women are exploited as free labor.


In all, 57,000 children and 56,000 mothers, the youngest of whom were barely 12 years old, pass between these walls where they are reserved, according to the report, “A particularly harsh treatment”, approved by the State and the Church which turn a blind eye to their living conditions. “In the years before 1960, homes for single mothers did not save the lives of illegitimate children” more “Significantly reduced their chances of survival”, continues the report. A quarter of babies die there, double the rates at the time.

→ ARCHIVE. Irish Church in the spotlight again

In the house of Bessborough (County Cork), the figures even go up to 75% for the year 1943. Lung infections, gastroenteritis, lack of hygiene, congenital malformations, overpopulation, “marasmus” (a severe form). child undernutrition)…. Several vaccine testing campaigns are even carried out on young residents, without “Consent of mothers” ni « respect for the ethical standards of the time ”. As for the accounts of mistreatment, they are legion.

State apologies

The groups of survivors who have campaigned for the truth are the adoptees, the ‘illegitimate’ and the mothers who have passed through these centers against their will – men and women treated as’ second-class citizens »Who finally« the opportunity to be on the front of the stage “, According to Catherine Corless. They ask that the investigation finally re-establish the truth about their story, and that they be offered compensation. It is urgent, because this report could be the last of this scale. The public got bored, after five other resounding reports which revealed, one after the other, the dark side of Ireland of the XXe century: Ferns case on pedophilia in the Church in 2005, research on the Magdalene Laundries in 2013 …

Associations do not hesitate to talk about ” guilt “ rulers and a “Misogyny” generalized. But the State and the Church are blaming each other. According to the commission, the relatives of these singles would also have their share of responsibility. While Ireland wasn’t the only country to intern single mothers, it had one of the lowest rates of men admitting paternity.

“I apologize for the deep harm done to Irish mothers and their children who have found each other” in these establishments held by Catholic nuns and the State, reacted, Wednesday, July 13, Micheal Martin, the head of government before the Irish Parliament. “The state has let you down”, he added, referring to a ” dark, difficult and shameful chapter in recent Irish history “, in which “ an extraordinarily oppressive culture » a « treated women exceptionally badly ».

A desire for resolution

In Tuam, the sisters of the home for single mothers apologized for the ill-treatment suffered by the women. Treatments that “Have not lived up to our Christianity”, they specify. There remains the problem of the bodies, those of the fetuses, babies and children up to 3 years. Should we make the pit a memorial accessible to the public? Or, as Catherine Corless asks, bring out the bodies, identify them and offer them a real burial? “ The only thing that prevents a complete exhumation is money », Regrets the one we now describe as a “Tireless champion of dignity and truth”. Her search for the truth will not stop there: alongside other activists, she is firmly awaiting apologies from religious institutions.

Survivors’ hopes also remain: that of having access to their adoption files, of lifting their anonymity in order to find ancestors or children who have been taken from them. For many, yesterday’s revelations and speeches are too little and too late.


Five years of investigation

2015. Investigation into “Mother-child houses”.

January 12, 2021. Publication after five years of investigation of a 3,000-page report.

The investigation reveals 9,000 deaths, or 15% of the 57,000 children who passed through these establishments between 1922 and 1998.

Nearly 800 children born in one of these birth centers, the St Mary home of the Bon Secours sisters of Tuam, had been buried in a mass grave between 1925 and 1961.

In Ireland (Eire), according to the 2016 census, 78.3% of the inhabitants declare themselves Catholic and 9.8% have no religion. The remaining 11.9% are Protestants, Muslims, etc.

Ireland is the western country with the strongest religious practice (between 35 and 50% of regular practitioners), even if this rate has dropped significantly over the past twenty years (nearly 90% of practitioners until the 1980s).


Covid-19 Pandemic – How Well Are Super Lockdowns Working? *** BILDplus content *** – guide

Photo: Juan Ignacio Roncoroni / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Does a tough lockdown, such as the one Germany is likely to face, really work effectively against pandemics?

Bild am Sonntag shows what experiences seven other countries have had with hard lockdowns. The result makes you think!


Ireland closes schools and China confines 11 million people

The Republic of Ireland joined its northern neighbor, England and Scotland on Wednesday in adopting more restrictive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which on Tuesday killed more than a thousand people, an unprecedented figure since last april. Although the other territories have taken the path of a general confinement, Ireland maintains a partial closure, with the order to the population to stay at home except for justified reasons, to which the closure of schools until the end of the month will now be added.

With a population of close to five million inhabitants, the Irish State has registered 113,322 infections and 2,282 deaths, but what is most worrying is the conversion of the pandemic into a “tsunami”, according to the Prime Minister, Micheál Martin, in recent hours. , as a consequence of the acceleration of infections in the islands.

China has also entered a spiral of alarm and concern over the latest outbreak of covid-19. The country that recently declared to have beaten the epidemic is now facing the emergence of 117 cases in the city of Shijiazhuang and the detection of the South African variant – much more contagious than the original strain – in the southern province of Guangdong. The authorities have already decided to restrict mobility in the aforementioned city, where 11 million people live, to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of the country.

Closed highways

Ten of the main highways leading to Shijiazhuang, a city about 300 kilometers south of Beijing, were closed on Wednesday and a bus terminal was also closed. The authorities have started a massive test campaign among citizens, since 78 patients were asymptomatic.

As for Guangdong, doctors are also trying to prevent the circulation of the new strain. It was detected in a South African pilot who had entered the province in December and tested positive for covid-19. It so happens that China also detected the British variant a few days ago in other sick people, which has raised the alarm because the two mutations are more infectious than the original virus.

Chinese is an example of the dangerousness of the pandemic. After months free of cases, the outbreaks have returned locally in recent weeks. In fact, the town of Xiaoguozhuang is closed and its 40,000 inhabitants locked up while another 40,000 are under observation in another city.


Northern Ireland ports on the front line

At the eastern end of the border between the two Ireland, Lake Carlingford acts as a natural bulwark between the two parts of the island. On one side, the Morne mountain range and its glowing vegetation; on the other, the grove at the foot of the Cooley mountains – two areas classified for their exceptional landscapes. “Here you have Europe, and there it is the United Kingdom”, explains Adrian O’Hare, retiree living in the region. He regrets the decline of his adopted town, Warrenpoint, “Once one of the finest Edwardian seaside resorts! “.

Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint: the three ports where controls will be carried out

The partition of Ireland, the Civil War, the shutdown of the railroad have dealt a blow to this small Northern Irish container port: there are only two hotels left in town, where many buildings are to be found. abandonment.

“Policymakers don’t want to invest here. They consider it a risky area, not politically stable enough. There is no longer any hard sectarianism but the mistrust continues “, continues Adrian O’Hare. Like many in communities on the Irish border, he feels abandoned by decision-makers. However, with Belfast and Larne, his city is one of the three ports in Northern Ireland where customs and health controls are now installed.

→ REPORT. Brexit, day 1: in Northern Ireland, “the world will not stop turning”

For four and a half years, the border has been a major preoccupation in the negotiations, even the sine qua non of an agreement. With Northern Ireland remaining in the European common market, customs and health controls were inevitable – but where to put them? Faced with the impossibility of building infrastructure on the old land border, the choice fell on the ports.

“These new controls will cost time and money”

“Here it is, the famous border of the Irish Sea”Jim Boylan jokes, pointing to the terminal. A ferry is docked, and a few boats anchor at the foot of the cranes. For now, everything seems frozen. Two rotations are made each day to Heysham, in Great Britain: gas, peat, waste and goods arrive and leave discreetly. “These new controls will cost time and money”Jim adds.

“Obviously, Westminster will send resources to finance them, but not to save the city”, regrets Adrian. Both campaign to build a bridge between the shores of the lake, in order to unify the area, facilitate passage and bring back tourists. The project has raised the interest of the Irish government. “Brexit will strengthen relations between North and South, so it is an urgent project! “

In Belfast too, the first boats arrived safely: between the wave of storage generated by the end of the transition period and the traditional calm of the holidays, the first days of the year were peaceful. Especially since Northern Ireland benefits from grace periods: the certificates to be provided will not change for three months for food products – six for raw meat products.

In the Republic of Ireland also, the authorities of the port of Dublin rather expect traffic jams as soon as they return to normal flows. And it is for the time being in Rosslare, 180 km further south, that the changes are taking place: a new link now links this port to Dunkirk. A twenty-four hour journey, but which bypasses Great Britain, its new regulations, its additional costs and its delays.


in Northern Ireland, “the world will not stop turning”

In the Titanic district of Belfast, the orange of the sky is reflected in a sea of ​​oil. On the old docks that saw the construction of the giant ocean liner at the turn of the last century, clusters of children try out their brand-new bikes and scooters. On Thursday, December 31, at 11 p.m., the United Kingdom left the European Union. A bitter day for Northern Ireland which voted 55.8% against Brexit.

A six-week lockdown and a curfew have emptied the city of its young people, but families intend to take advantage of the slightest ray of sunshine. Maria, in her forties, Philadelphia Eagles beanie pulled over her ears, shrugs her shoulders. “To be honest, I don’t understand a thing”, admits this saleswoman in a cosmetics store. “I still don’t know how it will affect my work. However, things are bound to change because we have European and British clients. “

“It’s a sad day, because we are European! “

The lack of clarity annoys him: “To believe that the government leaves us in the dark so that we can make mistakes and get fines!” “. But the prospect of having to apply for a visa to enter Europe leaves her unmoved: like 700,000 North Irish people, she holds an Irish passport which allows her to travel and work freely in the 27 countries of the Union. .

At the end of the pier, you can see the port. Huge cranes are busy there to unload the cargo ships. Not far away, the ferry terminal welcomes the few passengers from Scotland and Liverpool. “Yesterday, we were on a bench watching the boats coming from Sweden, Germany… I can’t help but think that it will be more complicated now”sighs Pol, who works at the local university. “It’s a sad day, because we are European! “

His mate, Colum, nods. “Being part of the EU made us feel more important than just being Northern Irish, he slips. People here tend to be islanders, and if they stay together it all ends up revolving around the question of Irish or British identity. We have just lost something important, all for a vague ideal of British sovereignty. “

The fear of the reawakening of “old wounds between Catholics and Protestants”

Like many, Colum is concerned that the new deal will “Awakens old wounds between Catholics and Protestants”. Because, if the former want the reunification of the Emerald Isle and are delighted that the land border remains open, the latter are worried about seeing their privileged relationship with Great Britain undermined by controls at sea. Ireland. “We still have hope”, tempers Pol. “Whatever happens, the world will not stop turning, the business will continue and we will always have the opportunity to go on vacation to Spain or France! “

At 19, Karl Duncan shares this optimism. Committed to the Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP), he wants to imagine a future where “Prosperity would replace divisions”. Too young to have voted in the referendum on Britain’s exit from the EU, he has followed the negotiations closely. “Much has changed in the past four years: the political scene has changed, in the south and in the north of Ireland. “ Thanks to Brexit? Maybe, he admits, even though he’s fiercely opposed to it. “I especially have the impression that we are at a turning point in our history”, he rejoices.

On the docks, the museum dedicated to the rutile Titanic, opposite the ultramodern studios that hosted the filming of the successful series Game of Thrones. Two projects which have participated in the transformation of the city, since the Peace Agreement of 1998. If pragmatism prevails today, who knows what new industries will complete this district in the coming years?


Government in Ireland apologizes to victims of children’s homes

Dhe Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin has apologized in Parliament for the suffering that has happened to residents of the country’s maternity and children’s homes. “On behalf of the government, the state and its citizens, I apologize for the misconduct of a generation,” he said in the Irish Parliament. He addressed the victims directly and said, “Each of you is free of guilt, there is nothing to be ashamed of – each of you deserves so much better.” Your dignity and rights have been treated with a lack of respect.

The day before, the final report of a commission of inquiry had been published, which shed light on the conditions in 18 women’s and children’s homes in the country. More than 9,000 children died there between 1922 and 1998. This corresponds to a share of 15 percent of those born in the institutions. The authorities were aware of this “very high mortality rate”, ”the report notes.

The state homes, mostly run by nuns, took in women who had become pregnant outside of marriages. The commission stresses that the women were not forced into the homes but that in most cases they had no alternative. In the institutions, the women and girls – the youngest mothers were twelve years old – were treated with “little warmth”. This was especially evident during childbirth.

Commission set up after discovery of mass grave

Many newborns were poorly cared for and inadequately treated when sick. In the decades before 1960, the homes had not only “not saved” the lives of infants and toddlers, but “significantly reduced their chances of survival”. The scandal outraged a worldwide public when six years ago a local historian discovered a mass grave for almost 800 children on the site of a former home in Tuam. Then the commission was set up. This had announced in an interim report that the deceased were buried in Tuam in a disused sewage pit.

Although many children have been given to orphanages or adoptive parents, the report sees “very little evidence that children were forcibly taken from their mothers”. The Commission recognizes “that women did not have much choice, but that is different from forced adoption”. Those affected criticized this part of the report as “ridiculous”. Others complained that the exhumations should not begin until next year. The commission has recommended “respectful reburials”. The suggestions also include compensation and the creation of a culture of remembrance.

Ireland’s top Catholic, Archbishop Eamon Martin, also apologized, describing the Church as “part of a culture where people have often been stigmatized, condemned and rejected.” The reputation of the Catholic Church has suffered greatly in recent years. The reason for this is not only the management of social institutions, including the “Magdalene homes” reminiscent of labor camps, but also child abuse by priests.


Death of thousands of children in Irish homes causes horror – Politics –

Micheal Martin deeply shaken

The investigation report into the deaths of thousands of babies and children in mother and child homes is causing a stir and outrage in Ireland. Prime Minister Michael Martin apologized publicly for the suffering on Wednesday. Responsible is the church, which has monitored the “perverse moral code”. But the state has also failed. About 9,000 children died in homes controlled by the government and run by religious organizations, according to the report.

“I would like to emphasize that each of you was in a facility because of the injustice of others,” said Martin on Wednesday in Parliament in Dublin addressing the victims. “The state has let you, mothers and children in these homes, down.” The victims should now receive compensation – the Catholic Church must also participate, said Martin.

For tens of thousands of women and their children in Ireland, it must have been sheer horror. Abuse, cold, numbness: for decades, unmarried, often young women were subject to a rigid regime in mother-child homes. The independent report found that between 1922 and 1998 around 9,000 babies and children died in the facilities examined – “around 15 percent of all children who were in the homes”. Respiratory diseases and gastrointestinal inflammation were found to be the main causes of death.

Unmarried women lived in the homes with their children who had been despised by society at that time. The case throws a spotlight on Ireland’s conservative society, which has long been strongly religious.

“It is a crucial moment,” the now 70-year-old Anne Harris was quoted in the media. She gave birth to her son in a home in 1970. “Irish society has been pretty rigid and disparaging to children out of wedlock. In these huge institutions, women were simply taken out of sight.” Extramarital relationships were frowned upon and women were rejected by their own families, even if they were victims of rape. “The state and church have supported, contributed to and tolerated this tough attitude,” the report noted.

It is estimated that around 56,000 unmarried women with 57,000 children lived in mother and child homes. The majority of the women affected were destitute, and for many the institutions remained their last refuge. But the tone there was rough, the treatment was rough, the conditions were unsanitary. Dormitories were overcrowded, the catering was poor, there were hardly any medical or school facilities, and the guards, often nuns, were untrained. The main causes of infant deaths were respiratory diseases and gastrointestinal inflammation.

“Before 1960, mother-and-child homes did not save the lives of illegitimate children; in fact, they appear to have significantly reduced their chances of survival,” the authors write. Even more: the high death rate was known to the authorities. There are specific allegations in old reports from the health authorities. “The responsible nun is stupid and ignorant (…) She has to be removed from her post immediately,” wrote a doctor decades ago. However, the authorities did not end the ordeal.

The fall is another blow to the image of the Catholic Church. It is also heavily criticized in other countries because of the serious abuse in homes that has been concealed for decades. Irish church officials were remorseful. The archbishop of the western Irish city of Tuam, where a home had existed, called the report “a cause for shame”. “The Church of Jesus Christ was supposed to bring hope and healing, but it brought harm and pain to many of these women and children,” said Michael Neary. The church has failed. Two orders of nuns who had run the facilities also apologized.

The processing of one of the blackest chapters in the history of the country, as Martin called the scandal, is another indication of the change in Ireland. Abortions and homosexual marriages are now allowed in the EU country, and the blasphemy clause has been removed from the constitution – steps that were considered unimaginable just a few years ago due to the deep roots of the Catholic Church in society.

Nevertheless, victims and relatives were dissatisfied. “The report does not confirm that there was abuse and does not recognize that there were forced adoptions,” criticized Niall Boylan, who was born in a Dublin home. “That’s ridiculous.” Paul Redmond, who grew up in a home in Castlepollard, called on the government to take action. The survivors would get older and die, he told RTÉ. The graves of many children remain unknown, with the deaths of thousands of children in Irish homes causing outrage


Abuses and dead children in orphanages in Ireland, here is the shock report

The blackest and most shameful page in recent Irish history, a book of horrors spanning over seventy years for which Prime Minister Michael Martin is now apologizing.

Children conceived in “sin”

“The survivors’ testimonies gathered by the commission are often heartbreaking readings. I admire the depth of their courage in sharing their experiences. They open a window into a deeply misogynistic culture in Ireland over several decades, with severe and systematic discrimination against women , in particular those who gave birth outside of marriage “, the head of government commented at a press conference, presenting the results of an investigation that found abuse and violence against minors, in orphanages managed largely by religious bodies, in a period of time that goes from 1922 to 1998. Places that had as their primary concern to keep away from society women and children marked by the sin of not having been conceived within a marriage, in a nation that has legalized abortion only in 2018 and which before then even contained the ban on abortion in the eighth amendment to the constitution.

Nine thousand deaths of suspicious children

There are 9 thousand suspicious deaths currently under investigation in the country. In 2017, in the western county of Galway, a mass grave was even found in one of these institutes. Based on the studies carried out, the remains of 800 children were found. Often the deaths were caused by malnutrition, by a life of deprivation and hardship. Those who did not make it ended up like this, abandoned and covered with a clod of earth, with no indication of their identity.

Three thousand pages of documents

In three thousand pages of documents, it traces what happened in the so-called “Mother and Baby Homes”, institutes closed only in 1998. A harrowing investigation conducted for five years by an independent commission worthy of the most terrible tale of horrors. An investigation that now requires a terrified Ireland to look deeply into it. “The regime described in the report was not imposed on us by any foreign power. We did it to ourselves as a society,” commented Martin, who later concluded: “We have treated women exceptionally badly. We have treated children terribly. We have had a completely distorted attitude towards sexuality and intimacy. Young mothers and their children have been forced to pay a terrible price for this dysfunctional system. “


British companies criticize export barriers to Europe

London “There is no Irish maritime border,” said British Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis on New Year’s Day when Brexit was over. This claim is now being refuted every day.

UK exporters are complaining about the additional formalities involved in trading with Northern Ireland, with many having suspended deliveries for the time being. Trucks are turned back at the ports because they do not have the correct papers with them.

The Irish Sea and the English Channel are the new hot spots in British foreign trade. Retailers, freight forwarders and fishermen all complain about the Brexit bureaucracy. Even large corporations seem surprised by the new rules. The duty-free agreement agreed with the EU does not apply to goods that are imported and then immediately exported again.

“Duty-free doesn’t feel like duty-free when you read the fine print,” said Steve Rowe, CEO of the UK department store chain Marks and Spencer (M&S). The conversion of the supply chains due to the rules of origin will “significantly burden” business in Ireland, the Czech Republic and France.

The M & S candy brand “Percy Pig”, for example, is made by Katjes in Germany. So far the fruit gums have only been imported to Great Britain and then sent on to Ireland. This operation will result in customs duties in the future. Marks and Spencer therefore has the choice of either paying the tariffs or rebuilding its supply chain so that Ireland is supplied directly from Germany. For the time being, the company no longer delivers the fruit gums to the EU.

Recently a case for customs

The fruit gum brand “Percy Pig” is sold by the British department store chain Marks and Spencer and manufactured by Katjes in Germany.

(Photo: Reuters)

The exit treaty and the free trade agreement, which have governed the relationship between the UK and the EU since the New Year, introduce a number of new trade barriers. They apply to the EU neighbors Ireland and France, but also to the British part of Northern Ireland, which continues to be part of the EU internal market.

“Deliveries to Northern Ireland are now no different from deliveries to France,” said Seamus Leheny of Logistics UK logistics association this week at a hearing in the UK House of Commons. Most British companies are not aware of this. “They don’t know what to do.”

Leheny said British trucks arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with just “groceries” on their loading lists this week. “These trucks had to be checked.” That took up to eight hours. Normally they should have been sent back, but the authorities turned a blind eye and dealt with the formalities on the spot.

Ireland relaxes rules

“The EU and the UK need to get together and simplify the processes,” said Aodhan Connolly, Director of the Northern Irish Retail Federation. Some British companies would no longer serve the Northern Irish market because they did not understand the rules or did not want to deal with them. The supermarket chain Tesco has already warned of possible shortages in some foods. However, there is still no shortage, said Connolly.

At least deliveries to Ireland should be easier. Irish Customs announced on Thursday evening that all shippers will be allowed to provide a temporary customs code that will allow them access to the ferries. However, this is only a provisional measure, stressed the authority. The companies would have to find a long-term solution themselves.

“It is clear that many companies are not as prepared as they thought, or have significantly underestimated what it means to be ready for Brexit,” a spokesman for the Irish Customs Service told the Irish Times.

No traffic jams in Dover, but problems in camps

The feared truck traffic jams in front of the main ports of Holyhead and Dover have not yet materialized. However, this is only because the traffic volume is significantly lower than usual. Most companies wait and store their deliveries until they meet the new requirements. “While there are no queues at the ports, they are created in our depots,” Andrew Kinsella of Welsh freight forwarding company Gwynedd Shipping told BBC radio.

When traffic picks up again in the coming weeks, traffic jams are expected. Many of the trucks that are currently arriving at the ports do not have all the papers with them. “We register a large number of vehicles that are turned away in Calais, Dunkerque and Dover because of incorrect documents,” writes the ferry company DFDS on its website. She reminds companies that import and export declarations are required for French customs.

The parcel delivery service DPD UK has suspended its deliveries to the EU until the middle of next week in order to adjust its processes. A fifth of all parcels had been returned in the past few days due to incorrect papers.

Fishing harbor in Macduff, Scotland

“Perfect storm” for the industry.

(Photo: X06674)

Companies that rely on smooth exports react indignantly to the chaos. “Everything we sent out this week is lost,” said Jamie McMillan, head of Scottish seafood exporter Loch Fyne Seafarms, in an online video.

He lost thousands of pounds because his lobsters and crabs got stuck on the way to France. “We can no longer export to the EU until the problems are resolved.” That will probably drive his company into bankruptcy. “Thank you, Brexit!”

Donna Fordyce of the Seafood Scotland Fisheries Association spoke of the “perfect storm” for the industry. The end of the Brexit transition period caused “complete confusion”. Among other things, IT problems led to deliveries ending up in the wrong ports in France.

“These companies don’t transport toilet paper,” said Fordyce. “They export the highest quality perishable seafood. The time window to bring them to market in top condition is limited. “

More: British airline shareholders lose their rights through Brexit.


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