THE Irish Government has confirmed an €800million payment scheme to compensate 34,000 victims of the nation’s brutal mother and baby home institutions.
Announced by Children and Equalities Minister Roderic O’Gorman today, the Mother & Baby Institutions Payment Scheme is set to benefit thousands of survivors and former residents of these homes.
“Today, the Government approved proposals for the Mother & Baby Institutions Payment Scheme,” Minister O’Gorman confirmed.
“This is a significant milestone in the State’s acknowledgement of its past failures and the needless suffering experienced by so many women and children while resident in these institutions.”
He added: “The Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme, valued at €800 million, is a broad scheme which encompasses but also goes far beyond the recommendations of the Commission of Investigation.
“It will benefit 34,000 survivors and former residents of these institutions.”
The redress scheme comes after the findings of an inquiry by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation were published in January.
The report details the horrific conditions endured by the girls, women and children who were detained in these institutions between 1922 - 1998, the emotional abuse suffered, and the extremely high infant mortality rate within the homes.
Around 56,000 women gave birth to 57,000 children in the homes investigated by the Commission; of those 57,000 children, 9,000 died while under the care of those in charge of the homes-- approximately 15%
Minister O’Gorman today thanked those survivors who had participated in an ongoing consultation process on how the Scheme would be applied for those based in Ireland and abroad.
“The Scheme is one element of the State’s comprehensive response to the suffering endured by women and children in 20th century Ireland,” Mr O’Gorman added.
“Today, we have also published the Government’s Action Plan for Survivors and Former Residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions.
“It builds on a commitment to develop a National Memorial and Records Centre.
“Ring-fenced funding has been made available to develop an overarching vision and proposed approach for the Centre, and this will be brought to Government for approval.”
He added: “There is no payment or measure that can ever fully atone for the harm done through the Mother and Baby Institutions.
“What we have set out today is the next chapter in the State’s ongoing response, and its commitment to rebuilding the trust it so grievously shattered.”
For further details on the Scheme and how it will operate click here.