Dáil Éireann - Volume 609 - 08 November, 2005

Written Answers. - Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

  133. Mr. Gogarty asked the Minister for Education and Science her plans to allow mother and baby homes to be covered by the redress board; if there are alternative investigations that could be set up; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32725/05]

  569. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Education and Science her plans to allow mother and baby homes to be covered by the redress board; if there are alternative investigations that could be set up; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33078/05]

  Ms Hanafin: I propose to take Questions Nos. 133 and 569 together.

The Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 provides a statutory scheme of financial redress for persons who, as children, were abused while in residential institutional care. The scheme applies in respect of institutions specified in the Schedule to the Act. Section 4 of the Act provides that the Minister for Education and Science may, by order, provide for the insertion in the Schedule of any industrial school, reformatory school, orphanage, children’s home, special school which was established for the purpose of providing education services to children with a physical or intellectual disability or a hospital providing medical or psychiatric services to people with a physical or mental disability or mental illness, in which children were placed and resident and in respect of which a public body had a regulatory or inspection function.

A total of 128 institutions were originally listed on the Schedule. Since the enactment of the legis[935] lation, my Department has been contacted by individuals and-or solicitors in relation to various institutions not specified in the Schedule, including mother and baby homes. Following consideration of the matter and consultation with relevant public bodies, I signed an order on 9 November 2004 which provided for the inclusion of 13 additional institutions in the Schedule. A further order was made on 1 July 2005 adding three institutions to the Schedule.

The Department of Health and Children has advised my Department that many of the institutions submitted for consideration, including mother and baby homes, were privately operated establishments which were not subject to State inspection or regulation and could not therefore be included in the Schedule.

The question of including additional institutions has now been fully considered by my Department in consultation with relevant Departments and it is not proposed to add any further institutions to the Schedule at this point. The issue of any alternative investigations in relation to these homes would be a matter for the Minister for Health and Children.