Belated move from Fine Gael Senators to support all Mother and Baby Home residents welcome

Seán Sherlock TD
20 April 2023
  • Support the Labour Amendment to expand redress

Labour spokesperson on children Seán Sherlock TD has said anyone who spent so much as a second in a Mother and Baby Home should have access to redress.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“The Labour Party put forward amendments in February 2021 to expand the redress scheme to ensure access to the scheme for anyone who spent any time in a Mother and Baby institution.

“When the scheme was being finalised by Government in February 2023, we pushed Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party to do the right thing to expand the remit to include all former residents, regardless of the amount of time spent in an institution. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Green Party TDs voted against the Labour Party amendment to do that. It is belated and deeply cynical for some Fine Gael Senators to try and commentate rather than legislate.

“We must remember that many women would have entered homes towards the very end of their pregnancy, and would have spent considerably less than six months there; yet they will not be eligible due to the six-month rule.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the failure of the redress scheme to extend to all residents is a matter that will have to be revisited in the years ahead. The scheme is flawed because there are so many who are excluded due to this legislation.

“The national conversation initiated by the publication and debate of the Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes marked a painful but cathartic moment for survivors and their families, as well as for society. Extending full redress to anyone who spent any time in a Mother and Baby institution must be done. It is the least that is owed to the individual women so severely affected.

“If Fine Gael Senators are serious, they must back Labour Party Seanad amendments to expand the scheme of redress.”

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