Readers' blog: Protestant baby home survivors snubbed

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation has sought its second one-year extension, before it will publish its final report. 

It was due next month and was eagerly awaited by the aging survivors of the protestant homes, among them Bethany, not included in the 2002 redress scheme. 

This is unacceptable and we demand resolution before we all die, unrecognised by the State.

The extension request does not surprise anyone and will be supported by Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone. 

The route set out by then children’s minister, Dr James Reilly, in 2014, was focused on getting justice for mother-and-baby home survivors and he gave the impression that Bethany Home survivors deserved to be treated the same as Catholics had been treated in the 2002 redress scheme.

When the office passed to Zappone, the focus changed to the identification of the children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home.

Recognising elderly survivors before they die seems to have been forgotten. 

The commission then refocused on a separate agenda of identifying the remains found in the Tuam mother and baby home, while aging survivors of the Protestant homes are ignored.

The scientific identification of all remains at Tuam will take years. 

And what about the hundreds of other unmarked graves around the country? 

All survivors will be long dead before this work is finalised.

The commission has a massive amount of work to do in identifying the many thousands of children buried in unmarked graves, but this should not delay the recognition of survivors. 

Judge Yvonne Murphy, chairperson of the commission, said in 2016 that Bethany Home survivors should have been included in the 2002 redress scheme. This did not happen — why?

The Bethany Home Survivors’ Group requests that the Taoiseach replace Zappone and include the Bethany Home Survivors in a redress scheme.

Derek Linster



More on this topic

Commission refusing to clarify questions over death registers for Bessborough Mother and Baby Home

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

Zappone declines to give deadline for publication of report into illegal birth registrations

Mother and Baby Homes Commission called on to release details of buried children

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