Mother and baby home report delay 'a kick in the teeth'

Paul Redmond

The chairperson of the Coalition of Mother & Baby Home Survivors, Paul Redmond is calling on the Government to apologise to survivors and immediately set up a redress scheme.

His comments come as Minister for Children Katherine Zappone brings a memo to Cabinet today seeking a further 12-month extension to the work of a commission investigating mother-and-baby homes.

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Inquiry has said it can see no reason why survivors of the small Protestant Bethany Home in Rathgar in Dublin should have been excluded from a State redress scheme.

However, the Government has said the ageing survivors must wait until the commission has reports on it and 17 other institutions.

Mr Redmond told RTE’s Morning Ireland that he was extremely disappointed and angry “that this happening all over again.”

He said he was particularly concerned because members of his community are elderly and dying. “This is an absolute kick in the teeth for people who will never see justice or an apology or redress.”

It looked like the inquiry was being badly managed, he said. Mr Redmond asked why it took four years from one government department to hand over documents to another government department.

Why doesn’t the Government just get on and do something for survivors?

He pointed out that there had been a redress scheme for Industrial School survivors at the same time as an inquiry was being held. “It’s not necessary to hold back on an apology. They can do so. We have been asking for this from the very start.

“As a community we’re sick and tired of it. What exactly is the delay?”

Mr Redmond, who has written a book on the issue, said he had managed to uncover a lot of information himself through research, so he could not understand why the commission with full-time staff and resources could not complete its report.

“It’s not a big ask.”

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