Some Laundry survivors won’t get health cover

Magdalene survivors living outside the State will not be entitled to health benefits in their country of residence but would have to return here to avail of promised healthcare under legislation being drafted by the Department of Justice.

This comes as it was announced that €250,000 has been paid by the department to a UK-based survivors network Sally Mulready’s Irish Women Survivors Support Network (IWSSN).

The department added that to facilitate good governance, the group have recently registered as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and an agreement has been entered into to route the funding through Voluntary Action Camden.

The money, originally earmarked just for Magdalene survivors, is now also to be used for advice and support services for institutional abuse survivors. Magdalene and institutional abuse survivors have been clamouring for their promised redress payments and for details about the statutory fund payments.

Justice for Magdalenes Research expressed “deep concern” that survivors have not being given redress payments and described the health benefits plans as “discriminatory”. Magdalene Survivors Together warned two of their members have died since the Taoiseach made his apology to the women earlier this year.

It was revealed in a parliamentary question to Maureen O’Sullivan TD that 620 applications were made to the Quirke redress scheme, with 486 of these originating from Ireland, 116 from England, five from Scotland and Wales, five from the North, 9 from the US, and the remainder from Australia, Germany, Cyprus, and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, survivors of institutional abuse have heaped criticism upon the new organisation administering the €110m statutory fund to former residents, accusing them of being “evasive and elusive”.

The independent body, named Caranua, will not begin accepting applications for funding from former survivors until next year.

Tom Cronin of Irish Institutional Abuse Survivors has expressed fears that eligibility for the fund will be means tested.

A spokeswoman for Caranua said full details about the scheme would be published shortly.


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