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Government cannot ignore Bethany Home survivors – McDonald

6 March, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD today described the Taoiseach’s failure to offer up any reason for the exclusion of Summerhill from the Magdalene Redress Scheme as deeply alarming. The Dublin Central TD also raised Bethany Home with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this morning.

Deputy McDonald said:

“When asked about Summerhill last month Enda Kenny told the Dáil that this was an issue the government would consider in due course. This morning he was unable to offer up a single reason why the former laundry should continue to be excluded from the fund.

“I also raised the outstanding apology and redress for the survivors of Bethany Home with the Taoiseach who again dodged the question.

“Education Minister Ruairi Quinn recently stated that the inclusion of St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home in the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme by statutory instrument was done on the basis that it operated as a children’s home and therefore came within the scope of the legislation.

“The hurt caused by Fianna Fáil’s decision to unjustly exclude Bethany survivors from the redress scheme is now being compounded by Fine Gael and Labour in their withholding of an apology and redress.

“There is evidence in the public domain illustrating the horrific neglect of babies and children in Bethany and the state’s involvement in the home. Bethany Home was a mother and baby home, a children’s home and place of detention for Protestant women referred by the courts. State inspections of Bethany Home under the Registration of Maternity Homes Act record the horrendous neglect of children in the home.

“The government cannot continue to ignore the surviving men and women of Bethany Home.” ENDS

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