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Labour and Fine Gael must support survivors of institutional abuse

8 May, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on Labour and Fine Gael to step up and provide survivors of institutional abuse and their families with the redress, support and services they need.

Speaking during today’s Dáil debate on the controversial Statutory Trust Fund Deputy McDonald said:

“This Bill legislates for the provision of support to people who suffered grievous abuse within State and Church run institutions. However Labour and Fine Gael in Government continue to turn their back on the women and children incarcerated in the Magdalene Laundries and Bethany Home.

“These institutions, instead of providing a safe haven and secure environment for children and young people, were often places where the most sadistic cruelty was inflicted.

“The State compounded the pain and damage to our most vulnerable children by its decision to turn a blind eye to what was happening.

“Many survivors are opposed to this fund. When we consider how the State failed survivors of institutional as children it is understandable that they would not now trust the State to decide on their behalf wants their needs are.

“Labour and Fine Gael’s decision to withdraw support for the children of survivors is wrong. Access to education and counselling can be an important step in breaking the cycle of inter-generation hardship that is directly attributed to institutionalised abuse of survivors as children. The Irish branch of SOCA has suggested the introduction of a universal card scheme whereby each survivor would get credits and these could be conferred to a family member.

“Those who have not received redress to date will be blocked from accessing the fund and as a consequence, the State will have failed them yet again.

“The Bill does not provide supports and services to survivors living outside the State. Forty per cent of the applications made to the original redress scheme were made by former residents living outside the State. Medical insurance is a real problem for survivors living in the US and Canada, as are nursing and residential care. In what way does the Government intent to support their needs?” ENDS

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