MOTHER AND BABY HOMES: IRELAND’S PLANS FOR REDRESS ARE FLAWED
KRW LAW LLP (KRW) represents a number of survivors of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes, and Magdalen Laundries, Factory and Industrial Schools.
Today Roderic O’Gorman T.D. Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth published his An Action Plan for Survivors and Former Residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions and details of the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme.
Unlike the welcome statement made on this matter yesterday by the Northern Ireland Executive, today’s statement by the Irish government is flawed attempt to deliver redress for survivors of these institutions where there was systemic institutional abuse with the full knowledge of the state.
The Payments scheme ‘commits’ to the following:
That all mothers who spent time in a Mother and Baby Institution will be eligible for a payment, increasing based on their length of stay. There is no such restriction suggested by the Northern Ireland Executive. This appears to be a discretionary ex gratia payment as opposed to the Executive’s proposed non-means tested and non-benefit related payment.
That, all children who spent six months or more in an institution and did not receive redress for that institution under the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme (RIRS), will be eligible for payment based on their length of stay. This excludes children who spent less that six months in an institution (and who may have been forcibly separated from their mother’s).
That “Although work has already commenced, it will take some time to make arrangements for this Scheme and it is hoped that the Scheme will be open for applications before the end of 2022.” The payment scheme proposed by the Northern Ireland Executive will be immediate.
Once again, the Irish government have failed survivors of the Mother and Baby Home regime. The proposals are restricted in terms of criteria and implementation. For many survivors this will be too little too late.