Mother and baby home payments scheme opens amid criticism

Mother And Baby Home Payments Scheme Opens Amid Criticism
The mother and baby home payments scheme will provide financial payments and health supports to those who are eligible. Photo: PA
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Vivenne Clarke

The payment scheme for survivors of the mother and baby institutions has opened for applications amid criticism over the eligibility criteria for compensation.

The scheme, which opens on Wednesday, will provide financial payments and health supports to those who are eligible.


However, it is estimated that 24,000 will be excluded under the six-month stay requirement to ensure that all eligible children, including children who were adopted, boarded out and fostered, were resident in a relevant institution for longer than six months.

The leader of the Social Democrats, Holly Cairns, has described the six-month stay requirement in the scheme as a “red herring” in an attempt to reduce the amount of compensation.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Ms Cairns said it was “callous” of the Government to introduce such an “arbitrary” rule.

If the situation was not so serious “it would be laughable”, she said.

Ms Cairns said it was important to acknowledge that something was wrong with what had happened in the Mother and Baby homes, which was why the scheme had been introduced, but it was also important not to exclude anyone.

The Government had ignored its own report in relation to redress, she said. Profits had been made by the church and yet the Government seemed to think it was the 1930s in its apparent reluctance to push the religious orders to honour payments.

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