Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has called on the Minister to ensure that no survivor is left out of its redress scheme.
As it stands, 40 percent of survivors will be left behind by the government’s Mother and Baby Homes Institutions Payment Scheme.
The scheme, which is due to be debated in the Dáil this evening, will, if passed, exclude survivors who were born in a Mother and Baby home and were resident less than six months.
Teachta Funchion said:
“I will not be supporting this bill tonight. I stand with all survivors and condemn the Government for this cruel blow. Survivors bravely came forward and told their stories because they wanted to see justice.
“However, many have been left feeling deeply frustrated and let down by the appalling way in which the redress scheme has been designed.
“I have been calling on the Minister since the publication of the Mother and Baby Homes report, back in January 2021, to ensure any redress scheme met the needs of all survivors irrespective of time spent in an institution.
“It’s time to respect Mother and Baby Homes survivors and their families.
“The scheme is an insult to survivors and totally fails to take into account their needs. This simply is not good enough. This government has failed survivors time and time again. This has to stop.
“I know first-hand that survivors will be bitterly disappointed if this bill passes today. The government must change the redress scheme to be fairer to them.
“Sinn Fein has been outspoken in its calls for immediate and substantive recourse from religious orders and pharmaceutical companies to contribute to the redress scheme. This has not happened.
“I am calling on all TDs in the Dáil to vote against this final insult to survivors. This is the very least that survivors deserve from their public representatives.
“The government has treated them with complete contempt time and time again and it is long overdue that they be respected and that their needs are met.
“It is vital that the government stops and considers the impact this deeply flawed redress scheme will have. It should not be just a box ticking exercise for many elderly and vulnerable survivors, it should be the State showing them that they care and that they have been listened to.
“I am appealing to the Minister to do the right thing here and amend this bill so it meets the needs of all survivors. It is time to respect survivors and their families.”