Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has this evening described the Taoiseach’s failure to deliver on his commitment of a decision on Bethany Home following today’s cabinet meeting as “heartless”.
The Dublin Central TD said:
“Last month the Taoiseach told the Dáil that the Minister for Justice and Equality would report on Bethany Home before the summer recess. No report was made.
“Last week Enda Kenny told the Dáil the cabinet would make a decision today on an apology and redress for the surviving men and women of Bethany home. No decision has been made.
“The Taoiseach wrote to Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD yesterday stating a decision on Bethany would be made at today’s cabinet meeting. No announcement has been made.
“It is absolutely unacceptable for the Taoiseach to mislead the surviving men and women of Bethany Home in such a heartless manner.
“For the last two and half years the Minister for Justice has been ‘considering’ an apology and redress for the Bethany survivors who were unjustly excluded from the Residential Institution’s Redress Scheme by the previous government on a false pretext.
“There is a wealth of evidence in the public domain proving state culpability in the neglect and harm of children residing in Bethany Home. Bethany was a children’s home, which shared all the harsh and brutal characteristics of the Industrial Schools and Magdalene Laundries. Some 219 Bethany children, who died between 1922 and 1949, are buried in unmarked graves in Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin.
“Enda Kenny publicly committed on two occasions to the Dáil that his government would make a decision on an apology and redress for the survivors of Bethany Home. He has reneged on that commitment and by doing so he has compounded the pain felt by survivors.
“This uncertainty for survivors cannot continue. It would be an inconceivable act of cruelty for the Taoiseach to drag out his matter over the summer recess.”