Should we provide compensation for children of ‘Mother and baby Homes’?


Should all survivors of mother and baby homes be compensated?

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries gathered outside the Dáil yesterday calling for a truth commission into ALL homes around the country.

One woman who was present at the protest was Sheila OByrne. She said that the memories of being in St Patrick’s Magdalene Laundry on the Navan Road will always be with her.

According to the women, some are still searching for their lost children, while others just want to know where their children or their mothers who were in the homes are buried.

It’s understood that at least 1,663 former Magdalene women are buried in Irish cemeteries – many in unmarked graves.

In 2013, Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised to Magdalene women in an emotional speech, saying the laundries “have cast a long shadow over Irish life”.

However, the women standing outside the gates of Leinster House yesterday said more needs to be done to shine a light on what is one of Ireland’s darkest and most guarded secrets.

O’Byrne said it is time for all of the facts to be put out in the open, demanding that the State agencies, the clergy, the medical profession and the gardaí must be upfront about the roles they played.

Sheila’s baby was put up for adoption. But after many years of searching, they are now in correspondence with one another.

Pressure has been mounting on the Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone to extend the Mother and Baby Home Commission’s scope to other homes.

Last week, the minister appointed an expert forensic archaeology team to examine whether the Tuam mother and baby site can be excavated.

Today I want to know if you think ALL survivors should be compensated by the state, that means the mothers and the children who were taken away, sold and pretty much had a very different life than was intended for them.

Previous redress schemes have cost the government billions but Zappone did not rule out the possibility of redress once the Commission completes its full report.

Thousands of women were put into mother and baby homes throughout Irish history. St Patrick’s home on the Navan Road in Dublin was the largest home in Ireland and its estimated between 9000-12000 women went through its doors.

Compensation will cost the Government and the taxpayer money granted –but someone needs to pay it.

The church could pay it but up until now it seems they won’t pay.

But wouldn’t compensation be worth it considering what these women and children went through?

Maybe you don’t think so – maybe you think as horrific as things were in these homes – we should leave it all in the past.

What do you think – Should all the mothers and children be given compensation?

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