Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, commenting on today’s joint announcement by Ministers Ruairí Quinn and Brian Hayes of the awarding of the commission of a memorial for the victims of institutional abuse, said:
“Sinn Féin firmly believes that the state should remember the victims of institutional abuse, who it had a responsibility to protect. Even more importantly however, is the care and support that is made available to the remaining survivors who are still living with the legacy of their time in these ‘care homes’.
“It is ironic that this announcement comes during the same week the Residential Institutional Redress Statutory Fund was passed by the government, despite the opposition of Sinn Féin and the rejection of our amendments.
“The money that will be spent on this memorial could have helped the establishment of separate redress boards for the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries and Bethany Home; the extension of educational supports for the children and grandchildren of survivors and the provision of assistance for survivors living outside the state who wish to return to Ireland to set-up home.
“Yet the government rejected or ruled these amendments out of order because they would incur a cost to the Exchequer. Their inclusion would have provided far greater assistance to the survivors of abuse.”