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Survivors of Abuse being failed by the State – Nolan

3 March, 2017

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan TD has said that Survivors of Abuse in state institutions are being failed by the state. Teachta Nolan was speaking during the debate on the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Amendment Bill in the Dáil yesterday evening.

Teachta Nolan said:

“Sinn Féin has consistently highlighted the need for redress for all survivors of abuse in state institutions or by agents of the state.

“I commend in particular, my colleagues Deputy Mary Lou McDonald and Deputy Gerry Adams, for their tireless campaigning on behalf of the Magdalene Women and Survivors of Symphysiotomy.

“The abuse of children while in the care of residential institutions is one of the darkest stains on our state’s history.

“These survivors, many of whom are now in their elderly years, were abused in the past and neglected for many years by this state before their suffering was acknowledged.

“The Statutory Fund that was established to provide for their needs is paltry in comparison to the damage that has been inflicted on them.

“There are serious concerns in respect of the limitations of the fund – in relation to both the services approved under the scheme and eligibility for assistance under the scheme.

“Bethany House and the Magdalene Laundries were not covered under the fund but there was a promise during the debate on the legislation that consideration would be given to widening the scheme with a review after two years.

“I am aware that the Minister has announced a public consultation process in respect of this review, and my party will certainly be making a submission to it, but nevertheless it is unacceptable that this basic promise, to have a review within two years, was not kept.

“For survivors that have been so let down by the state, it is inexcusable and it does nothing to restore even a small bit of trust in the state or faith in the scheme.

“For my part, I do believe that the scheme should be widened to include survivors of other state residential institutions and those who may not have previously sought a claim but satisfy the other criteria.

“I see no reason to exclude categories of survivors, where there has been clear abuse and neglect.” 

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