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Protestant homes may join list eligible for abuse payout

UP to 11 Protestant-run children's homes may be added to the list for the Residential Institutions Redress Board ,the Department of Education has confirmed.

Department officials have written to the trustees of the Smyly Homes, which catered mainly for children from Church of Ireland backgrounds.

Two Smyly homes and three other Protestant-run homes are already on the Redress Board's list of 141 institutions. But a further 11 Smyly homes could be added to the list - two of which are still in existence.

The Department of Education has told the Irish Independent that it hopes to meet with the Smyly Trust before Christmas to discuss whether any other homes can be added to the list. An institution must be on the Redress Board schedule before a former resident can file a compensation claim for abuse suffered while living there.

A spokesperson for the Smyly Trust said that the matter "is in the hands of our solicitors".

The Smyly homes were founded in the 19th century and catered mainly for very young children who were often fostered out when they were old enough.

The Bird's Nest, Dun Laoghaire, which is already on the list, looked after older children and is implicated in the vaccine trial along with another of the Protestant-run institutions, the Cottage Home.

The Smyly homes, and other Protestant-run children's residences, were not run by the Church of Ireland. They tended to be established by Church of Ireland lay-people and run according to a Church of Ireland ethos.

Most of the homes were on the southside of Dublin.

The Aislinn Centre, a victim support group run by Christine Buckley, says it has a number of members who spent time in some of these homes.

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Meanwhile, the Department of Education has said that it will not be extending the deadline of December next year for former residents of institutions to apply for compensation.

The confirmation came in reply to a request by the Aislinn Centre for an extension for former residents of the 13 institutions recently added to the Redress Board list.

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