Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe brought attention to the case of Bethany Home survivors during Sinn Féin’s Private Members Motion in support of the Magdalene Women’s campaign for justice and redress.
The Tallaght based TD detailed some of the awful abuses which took place in Bethany Home on defenceless women and children. Crowe also called on the government to listen to Bethany Home Survivors Group and open an independent investigation into abuses that took place in the home.
Deputy Crowe said: “Tonight as we discuss this motion it is extremely important that we remember the survivors of another brutal Christian residential institution, who were also failed by the State.
“The women and children who survived shocking abuse in Bethany Home are also elderly, and they have fought bravely and courageously for an independent inquiry to examine what happened in this residential home.
“Between 1922 and 1949, more than 220 children died in Bethany Home and 219 were buried in unmarked graves in Mount Jerome Cemetery. I pass their plot very regularly and cannot understand why this government will not open an inquiry into how our State failed these defenceless children.
“It also reminds me of what Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch said when she was in opposition. At the time she called on the government to “do the decent thing and end this outrage”, sentiments that were supported by her cabinet colleagues. Yet these same Deputies are in a position to do in their words, “the decent thing”, but are sitting on their hands and refusing to honour their promises to the elderly survivors of this institution.
“It is well past the time that the Justice Minister Allan Shatter and his cabinet colleagues step up to the plate and do the right thing by the women and children who faced the most appalling abuse when imprisoned in the Magdalene Laundries and Bethany Home; two of the most disgusting institutions this State has ever seen.