Sinn Féin hosts all-party briefing by survivors of residential abuse
Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Seán Crowe, TD yesterday hosted an all-party briefing in Leinster House on behalf of the Munster Survivors’ Support Services, a group representing survivors of residential abuse.
Speaking after the meeting Deputy Crowe said: “Legislation to provide assistance to survivors who were the victims of abuse in Irish residential care homes is presently going through the Dáil.
“Following the publication of the Ryan Report in 2009, the Government agreed to proceed with The Residential Institutions Statutory Trust Fund, legislation that is designed to help support victims of abuse by providing enhanced access to a range of supports.
“There are many strongly held views amongst survivors and victims’ groups as to what should be put in place to help those who suffered abuse and the briefing by the Munster Survivors Support Services LTD allowed some of their actual voices to be heard.
“It is important that in our role as legislators we listen to those survivors as there is serious criticism of the Bill, particularly in relation to the eligibility of those who can apply to the fund which is limited to the15,000 plus people who qualified for support under the Residential Institutions Redress Board. For a variety of very understandable reasons, many survivors of abuse felt unable to go before the Redress Board at that particularly time and it is wrong that they now should be excluded from benefiting from the Statutory Fund Bill.
“The perceived lack of consultation has also caused considerable discontent and there is apprehension at the speed of how the legislation is being implemented. One view expressed at the meeting was that survivors should be entitled to a one off payment and that they should have the final decision whether their children be provided with assistance and support in order to further their education.
“Sinn Féin is determined and committed to put forward amendments to the Residential Institution’s Statutory Trust Fund so that it can provide the type of supports that will help assist people who suffered ill-treatment under the care of the Irish State.”