by Alan Jacques
SINN Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has welcomed the Government decision not to oppose a motion on the Redress Scheme for survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.
The Limerick Deputy spoke in the Dáil this week on a Sinn Féin motion calling for the redress scheme to be extended to all survivors.
“At every point in the Mother and Baby Home process, the government has imposed obstacles on survivors. The final report underplayed the actions of those institutions. These women were interned, and their children were kidnapped. That is the stark reality of what happened. And now we are expected to accept that there is to be a hierarchy of survivors,” Deputy Quinlivan commented.
The proposed redress scheme provides for a redress amount based on a scaling grade of payments based on the amount of time one spent in such an institution.
The Limerick City TD also queried why the State must always be pressured into providing fair redress for victims.
“This government, your government, has failed at every turn when it comes to the survivors of these penal-like institutions and now, they will be failed again. Why must it always be like this?
“I’ll reference a different case about sexual abuse in day schools. I explained to various Education Ministers the case of sexual abuse in such a school – Creagh Lane in Limerick. At the time, those ministers seemed upset and promised to act.
“However, when Louise O’Keefe won her case in Europe, it took years for survivors to be included in redress. These brave men at Creagh Lane School had to protest in Brussels and at the gates of Leinster House to achieve fairness. Will the survivors of the Mother and Baby Homes need to do the same?” he asked.
He concluded by appealing to members of the government parties to support the motion.
“The responsibility and the shame is with those organisations that ran these homes of hardship. I appeal to those on the government benches to be sympathetic to the needs of all these survivors, many who live in Limerick, support this motion and together we can, at the very least, ease some of their pain.”
The Government did not oppose the motion.