Ireland's Payment Scheme for Mother and Baby Home Survivors, which was unveiled last week, will deliver redress based on how long a person was in an institution.
Notably, the scheme does not provide redress to people who spent less than six months as a child in the institutions.
In response to the Irish Cabinet's approval of the scheme last week, more than two dozen clinicians working in the area of childhood trauma in Ireland have signed their names to an open letter issued to Minister Roderic O'Gorman.
The letter says in part: “We are seeking a revision of the recommendations arising from the report, with inclusion of best practice guidelines regarding neuroscience, childhood trauma and attachment.
"We are willing to work alongside you to see these changes through and want to meaningfully contribute to better practices, rather than simply criticising from the sidelines.”
The letter adds: “There is also an opportunity to right a wrong, to empathise at a human level and seek to understand. “
This is an open letter to Minister Roderic O'Gorman from Irish clinicians working in the area of childhood trauma. The intention is to seek a reframe of the scheme informed by an understanding of the impact of early trauma #MotherandBabyHomes #openletter #trauma #adoption pic.twitter.com/STsKoMzch9— Dr Sara O’Byrne (@SaraOByrne23) November 21, 2021
The letter was issued on November 21, two days before Sinn Féin tabled a motion in the Dáil calling for reform to the redress scheme. The motion, which received cross-party support and was debated in the Dáil on Tuesday, seeks to ensure that the needs of survivors are respected in the government’s redress scheme.
Sinn Féin said in a statement that a reform of the redress scheme “would include urgently reviewing issues that survivors have identified within the scheme such as time-based criteria, the exclusion of children who were boarded out, access to the enhanced Medical Card, and the failure to include some institutions.
“The motion also calls on the Government to immediately seek recourse from religious orders and pharmaceutical companies to contribute to the redress scheme.”
Speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday, Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion, the party’s spokesperson on children, said: “Nobody should be excluded from the scheme. It should cover 100% of survivors.”
She added: "This Thirty-third Dáil must finally be the one that ensures justice is done by every single woman and child who had to pass through those horrific institutions."
TD Roderic O'Gorman, Ireland's Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, said during the motion's debate on Tuesday: "The Government will not oppose the motion brought forward by Sinn Féin and supported by some other parties this evening.
"We will be bringing forward legislation in the new year to support the establishment of a payment scheme and during that time, Deputies will have the opportunity to bring forward specific proposals with their views on that scheme."
You can watch the entire debate on Sinn Fein's motion on the Mother and Baby Home Redress Scheme from Tuesday, November 23 here: