16 November 2021: Australians of Irish background may be eligible for the Irish Mother and Baby Redress Scheme
Australians of Irish background may be eligible to claim under a new redress scheme which has been announced by the Irish Government.
Who will qualify for the scheme?
It is estimated 34,000 people will qualify for the scheme. All mothers who spent time in a mother and baby institution will be eligible for a payment.
All children who spent six months or more in an institution, and did not receive redress for that institution under the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme (RIRS), will be eligible.
What will the financial payment include?
A general payment to recognise time spent in the institution, harsh conditions, emotional abuse, and other forms of mistreatment, stigma, and trauma experienced while resident in a mother and baby or county home institution.
A work-related payment for women who were resident in certain institutions for more than three months and who undertook what might be termed commercial work.
All payments will be based on the length of stay.
A minimum payment of €5,000 will be awarded to women who spent three months or less in institutions, with the redress being capped at €125,000 for mothers who spend 10 years or more in an institution and who qualify for both the general payment and the work-related payment.
An enhanced medical card will also be available to everybody who was resident in a mother and baby or county home for six months or more.
How much will it cost?
The Department of Children expects payments will amount to €800m. Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman has written to all the religious congregations to arrange meetings in the coming weeks and has said he expects them to make "significant" contributions to the scheme.
When can survivors expect to receive payments?
It is expected the scheme will be open for applications in late 2022 after legislation is passed by the Oireachtas. Elderly survivors will be prioritised, although it could be 2023 before payments are made.