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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Bethany survivors demand inclusion in redress scheme

Survivors of the Protestant-run Bethany home demand to be acknowledged in the same manner as Catholic abuse victims.

THE SURVIVORS OF the Bethany home in Dublin have demanded that they be included in the state’s redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse.

In letters delivered to the Taoiseach and to the ministers for Education, Health and Justice, the survivor group said they deserved to be acknowledged in the same way as other survivors of abuse.

Bethany was a Protestant-run institution and, as such, was not subject to state regulation – in contrast to Catholic church-run homes. Accordingly, survivors of abuse in Bethany have not been included in the redress scheme set up by the state.

However, researcher Niall Meehan said that the Bethany home had been a place of detention for unmarried mothers therefore it and met the criteria for the redress scheme.

Speaking to reporters spokesman for the group today, Derek Leinster, said that they wanted an apology from the Church of Ireland and a memorial to the children who died at the home.

The full scale of the abuse at Bethany was exposed when unidentified bodies of children were found buried. The grim discoveries confirmed that an average of one baby had died at the institution every three weeks.

Many of the children had died of heart failure or malnutrition.

As Church of Ireland records do not match the evidence unearthed in graveyards, the possibility of cover-up has been raised.

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