Final opportunity for Government to widen redress for Mother & Baby Home residents

Seán Sherlock TD
22 February 2023

Labour spokesperson on children, Seán Sherlock TD has today (Wednesday 22nd February) said that this evening’s debate on the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme Bill 2022 is the final opportunity to do the right thing and expand redress to all those who stayed at such institutions and abandon the 6 month term limit.

“All TDs are receiving hundreds of emails from campaigners and former residents of instructions pleading with the government to expand the redress time limits,” said Deputy Sherlock.

“Not one person has contacted our offices to say proceed with the Bill as written. Tonight’s debate is the final opportunity to expand that remit to include all former residents, regardless of time spent in an institution.”

“We just want those people to be included. We want any report into or review of the scheme to ensure those people are included so they are not excluded forever or so the next generation of politicians is not revisiting this in 20 or 30 years’ time.”

“We will be revisiting this as sure as night follows day. The people who were aged from zero to six months will wish for this to be revisited somewhere down the line. I have no doubt about that. The evidence of the correspondence we have received should be enough to jolt any government into action in respect of that cohort of people who need for this to be dealt with, now and in a contemporary way – not down the line but now. That is the hallmark of fairness, for it to be dealt with in the here and now.

“Do not infantilise people who have a voice themselves. Do not refer to them as a “vulnerable group”. These are people who are well able to stand up for themselves. Do not condescend to them. Do not patronise them. Meet them as equals. We know that the scheme is flawed because we know there are so many who are excluded because of this legislation. The Government must act tonight.”

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