Bethany Home survivors disappointed over Government's refusal to extend 'fast track’ redress scheme

Bethany Home survivors disappointed over Government's refusal to extend 'fast track’ redress scheme

Survivors of the Bethany Home have expressed their disappointment at the Government's unwillingness to commit a ‘fast track’ redress scheme for ageing survivors of the institution.

The Bethany Home Survivors Group held a meeting with children's minister Katherine Zappone where it again asked her to extend the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme to include Bethany Home Survivors.

The scheme was set up in 2002 to grant redress to people who were abused as children in industrial schools, reformatories and other institutions which were regulated by the State.

In its second interim report in April 2017, the Mother and Baby Homes Commission said the survivors of the Bethany Home had "a strong case for inclusion" in that scheme. It also argued that all Mother and Baby Homes had a case for inclusion in that scheme.

In response, the Government firmly ruled out any redress in advance of the Commission publishing its final report, noting that previous redress schemes had been “extremely costly”.

Following the meeting, the group said Ms Zappone had told them that she had been unable to persuade the Minister for Education Joe McHugh and the Attorney General to extend the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme

In a statement, Ms Zappone expressed her "deep appreciation and understanding for the advocacy work of the Bethany survivors" and committed to visiting the memorial of children who died in the care of the institution at Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin.

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