Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has welcomed Minister Ruairí Quinn’s commitment to review with the Minister for Justice the evidence of State responsibility in the case of the Bethany Home.
Speaking following her raising of this matter at Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil chamber earlier today, Deputy McDonald said;
“Yesterday we mourned the loss of two hundred and twenty two infants and children who died of neglect at the Bethany Home, at a ceremony to unveil a headstone marking their place of burial. This was the first official recognition of these victims.
“Today I put it to Minister Quinn that regardless of his claim that the State did not directly place people in the Bethany Home, the State nevertheless bears responsibility because it subjected that institution to a regime of inspection, it made official records cataloguing the institutional deficiencies and neglect, and despite this evidence it had in its possession nothing was done. The State failed in its duty of oversight, and in its duty of protection of these vulnerable citizens.
“I asked Minister Quinn if the Government would finally face up to the State responsibility, do the right thing and treat these victims equally. I asked him would the Government issue a State apology and include the Bethany survivors in a redress scheme.
“I welcome his commitment that the Government will review its decision on the Bethany Home, and that it is open to recognising, apologising and allowing redress to survivors.”