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Bethany Home survivor Derek Leinster lodges legal proceedings against Irish State

Leinster has campaigned for over 20 years for the inclusion of Bethany Home and other Protestant institutions in redress schemes.

Derek Leinster, chairman of the Bethany Home Survivors group, at the unveiling of a memorial to over 200 children who died at the institution, at Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin in 2014.
Derek Leinster, chairman of the Bethany Home Survivors group, at the unveiling of a memorial to over 200 children who died at the institution, at Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin in 2014.
Image: PA

BETHANY HOME SURVIVOR Derek Leinster has issued legal proceedings against the Irish State, the Minister for Children and the Attorney General.

Derek Leinster, who was born in Bethany Home in Dublin in 1941, has campaigned for over 20 years for the inclusion of that and other Protestant institutions in State inquiries and redress schemes.

Bethany Home was one of the 18 institutions, the majority of which were Catholic, examined as part of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

The Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC) lodged High Court proceedings on behalf of Leinster on 30 September.

Leinster told The Journal he cannot comment on the proceedings at this point in time. A spokesperson for the Minister for Children also said he cannot comment on ongoing legal proceedings.

Leinster (80) has long campaigned for survivors of Bethany Home and all similar institutions to receive the same redress that was granted to survivors of industrial school abuse under the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002.

In an interview with The Journal in March, Leinster called for the latest redress scheme to be fast-tracked due to the age of many survivors.

“I’m not going to settle unless I get the right deal, even if it means I don’t get the deal before I die. I’m not going to sell out to people that stood by me over all these years,” Leinster said at the time.

“At the end of the day I want what people got under the 2002 redress scheme. I want that, so it can never happen that a small group of people can be ignored as Irish citizens.

“They have to be treated just the same as anybody else regardless of the numbers (that apply for redress), or what religion they might have been classed as.”

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The government’s redress scheme for survivors of mother and baby homes and county homes is currently being finalised and is due to be presented to Cabinet this month. It is expected to open for applications early next year.

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Órla Ryan

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