Tuesday 25 July 2017

It's time to regulate State's redress system

THE refusal of the Education Minister to allow Bethany Home residents access to the State's redress scheme is insupportable. So, too, is the refusal by the Justice Minister to allow Senator Martin McAleese to include it in his review of the State's relationship to the Magdalene Laundries.

We are confident we can show that the State neglected its duty of regulatory care in the Bethany Home. The State ignored internal and external warnings about conditions in the home. Its only substantive response -- in 1939 -- was to state that it was "well known" that illegitimate children were "delicate" and to force the home to stop admitting Roman Catholics.

It is singularly appropriate that Mr McAleese should be allowed to examine the Bethany case, given his sterling work in the peace process in Northern Ireland and given that many former Bethany residents either started from or ended up in Northern Ireland.

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