Survivors of Ireland’s notorious mother and baby homes have just weeks to have their say on redress scheme
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Survivors of Ireland’s notorious mother and baby homes have just weeks to have their say on redress scheme

THE consultation period on the development of a redress scheme for survivors of the nation’s notorious mother and baby homes is now open for submissions – but only until March 31.

Ireland’s Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman launched the formal opening of the process yesterday, while encouraging former residents to “make their views known in relation to the design of the scheme”.

The short deadline for submissions - which must be received by March 31 - leaves a small window of less than three weeks for those who wish to make a representation to the process.

Announcing the Consultation Process on the development of a Restorative Recognition Scheme for Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes on March 10, Mr O’Gorman explained: “The Government is committed to establishing the Restorative Recognition Scheme as soon as possible and for that reason there is a tight timeframe for this stakeholder consultation.”

He added: “The findings of this Consultation Process will play an important role in informing the development of the Restorative Recognition Scheme.

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“Therefore, I would like to encourage all interested parties, in particular former residents, their families, and advocacy and representative groups, to participate in the process and make their views known in relation to the design of the Scheme.”

The redress scheme is being established as part of the Government’s response to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes Report, which was released in January.

The publication revealed the heartbreaking truth about the barbaric treatment of so many women and girls who were forced to take up a place in these mother and baby homes.

It also confirmed that some 9,000 children born within them died and that there is no known burial site for many of these.

There are two ways for people to make their views known to the consultation process – by written submission and/or by participating in an online consultation meeting this month.

Acknowledging that many survivors had already “provided testimony and input into various forms of consultation in recent years” and the “toll” it has taken on their lives, Minister O’Gorman added: “I hope that this process will be a positive step in the journey to address the wrongs of the past and assist with providing some long-awaited healing and comfort.”

The findings of the consultation process will be documented and submitted in a report to the Interdepartmental Group (IDG), which has been established to develop detailed proposals on a Restorative Recognition Scheme for Government consideration.

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OAK, an independent consultancy-based company, will undertake the public consultation on behalf of the Interdepartmental Group.

For further information on how to participate in the consultation process click here.

Written submissions to the process can be emailed to [email protected].

To register for an online consultation meeting, email [email protected].