UK-based survivors of Ireland’s mother and baby homes urged to seek advice as compensation scheme set to open

UK-based survivors of Ireland’s mother and baby homes urged to seek advice as compensation scheme set to open

SURVIVORS of Ireland’s brutal mother and baby homes who are now living in Britain have been urged to take advice as a long-awaited compensation scheme is set to open.

The Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme will be open for applications on March 20, it was announced last week.

Ireland’s Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman revealed the date while outlining the criteria for those who can apply and adding that older applicants will be given priority in the application process.

“As promised, the Scheme will give priority to applications according to the age of the applicant, and so applications from older people will be prioritised,” he said.

The €800million payment scheme was developed following the findings of the Commission of Investigation into Ireland’s mother and baby and county homes, which revealed the impact of time spent in these institutions on thousands of women and children.

It is estimated that currently roughly 13,000 people eligible to apply for the redress scheme are living in the UK.

Survivors of Ireland's brutal mother and baby homes will be compensated through the redress scheme

This week an organisation which provides vital services to some of the most vulnerable Irish people living in northern England, has urged those survivors to access support services across the country for help with the application process.

Fréa is a partnership of three Irish charities operating in the north of England, namely Irish Community Care, Irish Community Care Manchester and Leeds Irish Health and Homes.

In a statement made yesterday, they outlined the specific services available for survivors based in Britain, which include Fréa’s Renewing Roots service, as well as the London Irish Centre and Coventry Irish Society.

Patrick Rodgers, Regional Manager for Renewing Roots, said: “We welcome this announcement.

“However, any payment may have implications for former residents of Mother and Baby or County institutions now living in Britain, particularly those receiving means tested benefits or assistance with their care costs.

“For this reason, we would really encourage former residents to contact a support organisation for a free, confidential discussion about their options and potential next steps.”

The Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme is divided into three parts.

A general payment, starting at €5,000 will be available for children who were resident for more than six months in these institutions, and all mothers who were resident for any period of time.

A work-related payment, in lieu of unpaid work undertaken, will also be available, which starts at €1500, as well as a health-related payment.

Former residents who are now not living in Ireland who receive either a general or work-related payment, this equates to a payment of €3000.

“With the announcement of the payment scheme opening date, more former residents are expected to come forward,” Fréa said.

“Support, including help accessing and applying to the payment scheme is available from organisations in the UK, including Renewing Roots, London Irish Centre and Coventry Irish Society,” they added.

Support is available from:

Renewing Roots for former residents based in the North of England.

London Irish Centre

Coventry Irish Society

Icap - for psychotherapy/counselling support