Bethany survivor welcomes review

Abuse survivors of Bethany Home have welcomed a Government commitment to review any evidence of State responsibility in the negligent treatment of residents at the facility.

Bethany survivor welcomes review

The agreement comes amid calls for compensation for survivors of the home.

Survivors of the Protestant home were given a glimmer of hope yesterday after Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said he would ask the Department of Justice to reassess if their situation was comparable to that of victims of institutional residential abuse.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald, who raised the matter in the Dáil, welcomed the commitment.

Bethany Home was set up in 1922 and was run by an interdenominational committee from various Protestant churches and later moved to Rathgar, Dublin. The home was closed in 1972.

As well as unmarried mothers and their children, it also took in prostitutes, alcoholics and prisoners and was used as a detention centre for female offenders, non-Catholic children, and young people under 17.

The State has so far only paid €25,000 towards a memorial.

It was unveiled this week for 222 children who died at the home and were buried in an unmarked grave.

The Government to date have said Bethany was a mother and baby home and did not fall within the terms of the redress scheme.

Bethany Survivors Group chairman Derek Leinster welcomed the review.

“We have undeniable evidence the Irish Government was responsible at every level based on criteria of the 2002 act of the redress scheme. We have inspection documents and documents that show the State was involved in payments to the home.

“We honestly think that the Government has to set up a small team to deal with this.”

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