Mother and baby home redress won't be approved until September at the earliest

TD expresses disappointment at further delay to scheme which was initially supposed to be in place in May
Mother and baby home redress won't be approved until September at the earliest

A pair of baby shoes placed at the mother and baby home burial site in Tuam, Co Galway. Picture: Hany Marzouk

The details of a redress scheme for survivors of mother and baby homes will not be brought to Cabinet until autumn.

Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman had hoped to bring details of the scheme this week, but it is now understood that an inter-departmental report on the scheme has yet to be completed, meaning that it will be delayed.

It means that the scheme is unlikely to be signed off until at the earliest September. It had initially been promised that a redress scheme would be announced by the end of May.

'Every step of the way, the trust has been lessened,' according to Independent Galway West TD Catherine Connolly. Picture: Collins Photos
'Every step of the way, the trust has been lessened,' according to Independent Galway West TD Catherine Connolly. Picture: Collins Photos

Independent TD Catherine Connolly said the latest delay was disappointing: 

I know in a sense they have to make it as inclusive as possible — I would like a scheme that is as inclusive as possible — but it's very disappointing when time limits are given.

She said the latest delay will further erode trust among survivors who have already been failed by the State.

"Every step of the way, the trust has lessened and lessened," she said.

The Galway TD said: "People are at a low ebb. People who are vulnerable who didn't come forward to the Commission of Inquiry, who didn't come forward to the confidential committee. There are lots of people out there who never came forward but who are there waiting.

There are lots of people who just wouldn't have been able to come forward to the Commission. 

Last month, Mr O'Gorman confirmed that residents of the institutions would be able to apply for the scheme from next year, though this delay will not affect that.

"I would hope people would be able to apply for it next year. I want to get it to Cabinet first and I will have a better sense at that stage," Mr O'Gorman said.

The minister is also to bring further update on a permanent memorial and records site for the institutions in September.

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