All survivors of Mother and Baby Institutions must have access to redress

23 May 2023

Labour Senators Marie Sherlock and Annie Hoey said anyone who spent any length of time in a Mother and Baby Institution must have access to the redress scheme.

Speaking in advance of a screening of Pray For Us Sinners in Leinster House, Senator Sherlock said the State must open the redress scheme to all survivors.

Senator Sherlock said:

“It was deeply disappointing to hear the Minister and Government representatives turn their back on survivors of these Institutions in the Seanad last week. Indeed, earlier this year, Senator Regina Doherty had a last minute change of heart in terms of widening the redress scheme. The fire for justice appears to have left her and her Fine Gael colleagues once again.

“Time and again, we have asked and queried the scientific basis for the six months and there has not been a reply.

“For women excluded from the scheme, it is not about money. It is about recognition, and the recognition of what society did to women and their children and the time. Excluding so many women from the redress scheme is deeply wrong, unfair and diminishes the hurt and trauma inflicted on people.

“The State failed totally failed these women and children by outsourcing its responsibility to the church and to these church-run homes. Society turned its back on these women.

“Excluding so many from redress just reinforces that hurt and that trauma and gives a new message now that we have deserving and undeserving survivors depending on the length of time a woman and child spent in these homes. It’s disgraceful.

“Tomorrow evening (Wednesday 24th May at 6:30pm), Labour Party Senators are hosting a screening of the tough but uplifting film Pray For Our Sinners and we will be joined by the films director Sinéad O’Shea. We urge all Oireachtas Members to join, particularly those from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party. There is still time to do the right thing.”

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