Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle says Mother and Baby Home redress scheme must include all former residents

Pringle says Mother and Baby Home redress scheme must include all former residents

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said the Mother and Baby Homes redress scheme does not meet the needs of survivors, as he called for the scheme to include all former residents.

In preparing a redress scheme, “The starting point should be, and must be, the survivors,” the deputy said.

The deputy addressed the Dáil on Tuesday evening to support Sinn Féin’s motion to see an expansion of the Mother and Baby Homes redress scheme to all former residents, no matter how long or short their stay.

Deputy Pringle said: “I would like to echo the words of the survivors’ group, who I listened to and met outside the gates of Leinster House today, and who describe the Mother and Baby Homes Redress Scheme as a ‘travesty of justice’.

“It truly is a travesty that those who lived or were born in these terrible institutions and spent less than six months there have been completely left out and excluded from claiming deserved redress. Who is this government to put a timeline on trauma? Who are they to decide at what point survivors deserve compensation for the awful conditions which they were forced to endure? It is a complete insult to these survivors who have already been failed by this State time and time again and we really ought to be ashamed of ourselves for this.”

“This redress scheme is not inclusive and does not meet the needs of survivors,” he said.

The deputy said: “It is clear that there is a complete lack of survivor voice in this scheme. We cannot create a scheme without the input of the people it affects. This should be at the heart of every redress scheme that is established and should be the priority of all schemes going forward.”

“It is of the utmost importance that those affected have a large part to play in discussing the impact and the redress that is owed to them,” he said.

He said reports on the institutions that have come out over the past few years have been harrowing and devastating, saying that in the Stranorlar County Home in Donegal alone, 343 children died in infancy or early childhood.

Deputy Pringle said: “Many of those who lived were subject to awful conditions and unfortunately experienced separation anxiety, PTSD and other mental health issues throughout their lives.  The very least that we can do is give full and fair redress to every single one of those impacted. This is the very least that survivors deserve after all that they have been forced to endure and continue to endure.

“I am calling on the government to do the right thing here,” he said.

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