Home victims must be included in scheme

If the apology proffered by an Taoiseach Enda Kenny on behalf of the government and state to the Magdalene women is one of genuine substance and compassion and not empty rhetoric for public consumption, then all victims, including those survivors of the Protestant-run Bethany Homes, Westbank and St Mary’s in Summer Hill must be part of that apology and be included in the redress scheme.

Precedence has already been established by the inclusion of the Church of Ireland run Smiley’s Home in the Residential Institutions Redress scheme 2002.

Why does the Government continue to equivocate on the inclusion of some Protestant-run institutions in the redress scheme on the basis that those who entered these Homes did so voluntarily?

Furthermore, the report by the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Dr Michael Jackson requesting the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to establish an inquiry into the Bethany Home can only be seen as yet another long-fingering of church and state responsibility towards the abused.

The victims of Bethany do not have the years anymore to await the results of an inquiry to establish what is already widely known by church, state and society.

Tom Cooper

Delaford Lawn

Knocklyon

Dublin 16

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