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Bethany survivors deserve redress scheme

The Mahon Tribunal cost the State some €200m. The State gave €30bn to save bankrupt banks.

A 2002 State redress scheme was set up to make fair and reasonable awards to persons, who, as children, were abused while resident in industrial Schools, reformatories and institutions subject to State regulation or inspections.

Martin McAleese led an independent investigation into the Magdalene Laundries and in his report last year concluded that the State was responsible for supporting them and recommended that women who lived and worked years in the Magdalene Laundries to receive compensation.

The Bethany Homes are not included in the redress scheme. The Chairperson of the Bethany Survivors’ Group explained (Letters, July 27) ) how he received over 1,000 documents in 2012 and other records which shows evidence of neglect.

The FG/Labour government’s decision is puzzling to this small group, who may go to the European Court of Human Rights. Bethany Homes were not included in the State’s 2002 Residential Institutional Redress Scheme, probably because they were not fully known about by the government of the time.

The Magdalene Laundries survivors’ campaigned had to be included and the Bethany Survivors group will too.

Government decisions can be reversed, like when the current Labour party Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, listened to concerns from fellow TDs on the impact of some planned cuts in expenditure for schools. He reversed one or two decisions, saying he did not fully realise their impact. Some in the Labour party were very supportive of the Bethany survivors’ case for inclusion.

M Sullivan
College Road


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