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"We hope he does the right thing": Bethany Home survivors to meet Shatter

The Bethany Survivors Group will speak to the Minister about their call for redress and an apology for what occurred during their time at the home.

SURVIVORS FROM THE Bethany Home in Dublin are to meet with Minister for Justice Alan Shatter today as part of their fight for an apology and redress.

“We hope he does the right thing,” survivor Derek Leinster told TheJournal.ie. “It’s well overdue.”

The four-person group plan to speak to the Minister about receiving an apology for the pain and injury they say they received while at the Protestant-run home.

The meeting will take place today and will include members of the Bethany Survivors Group who have journeyed to Ireland for the meeting.

They are also seeking redress and a memorial for 219 children from the home that were buried in unmarked graves in Mount Jerome Cemetery.

The survivors are also seeking the Church of Ireland to contribute to any redress.

Redress

The State’s case is that the residents of the home were there voluntarily, so did not qualify for the 2002 Residential Institutions Redress scheme.

In July 2011, about 20 Bethany survivors were encouraged to apply for inclusion in Martin McAleese’s Magdalen inquiry. However, the government did not extend its mandate to them.

Leinster said they are “interested in hearing what [the Minister] has to say to us” at the meeting, where they will press him on the case for redress. They will also ask about what progress has been made on their case.

They say they don’t want to be treated differently because of their religion, as the home was a Protestant one. Earlier this year, Leinster said that “now would not be too early to give Bethany survivors the same apology and consideration as the Magdalene women”.

They group has started a campaign to raise funds for the memorial to the children buried in unmarked graves.

Last week, Cork City Council passed a Sinn Féin motion calling on the Government to provide a full apology to the surviving women and men of Bethany Home, and to immediately put in place a mechanism of redress.

Read: Bethany Home survivors to meet Shatter for redress and apology>

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