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Ó Snodaigh calls for justice for Thalidomide survivors

20 March, 2013 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South Central Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD called on the Government to apologise Thalidomide survivors and introduce a statutory healthcare package and compensation package to meet their needs.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“In the Programme for Government produced over two years ago, a commitment was made to compensate Thalidomide survivors in Ireland. Over two years later they are still awaiting, in fact they have been waiting over 50 years for a proper and full acceptance of the State’s responsibility in allowing the administration of a poison to pregnant women in Ireland.
“In 1959, thalidomide began being sold and issued as a “safe and non-toxic drug without side-effects” and suitable as an effective treatment to prevent morning sickness nausea and sleeplessness during pregnancy and it was allowed remain on sale in 1961 when the State knew of the dangers which resulted in horrific consequences of this drug such as deformed limbs; malformation of hearts, bowels, uterus and gallbladder, short life spans, deafness, weakened facial muscles, and other countries had withdrawn that.
“The 32 survivors of Thalidomide are entitled to justice for what they have to go through daily. The state has a role in this. Indeed, the state due to their lack of action in 1961 when they were first aware of dangers, are partially responsible for the injuries sustained. I am calling on the government to issue the apology that is owed, alongside a statutory healthcare package to meet the needs of those with thalidomide disabilities and a structured compensation package should also be introduced.”

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