Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Home survivors refused compensation

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said he would not reverse a decision over mother and child Bethany institution

Survivors of a Protestant children's home where at least 200 babies and infants died have been refused access to a state-run compensation fund for a second time.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, whose department oversees the redress board, said he would not reverse a decision by the previous Government not to include the mother and child Bethany institution.

A survivors' group, headed by Derek Leinster, accused the minister of ignoring the specifics of the home run by Protestant evangelicals and regurgitating tired excuses.

"Ruairi Quinn has refused to address the then state's decision to regulate the sectarianism of the welfare system, but not the actual welfare of neglected and abandoned children," he said.

"Ruairi Quinn is condoning official sectarianism today in this Republic, as a result.

"Ruairi Quinn has rejected not just Bethany survivors but his own party colleagues Joe Costello and Kathleen Lynch who have been campaigning for years on this issue."

The Bethany Survivors' Group represents people who had been infants in Rathgar home run between 1922 to 1972.

Mr Quinn said the home was not included in the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme by the Fianna Fail/Green coalition as it operated as a mother and baby home.

He also insisted religious ethos was not one of the criteria used for inclusion in the scheme.

In a statement the Department of Education said: "Having taken all the circumstances into account, Minister Quinn has found no basis to revisit this decision."

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