Survivors of institutions hold conference with Minister for Children

By Maurice Garvey

Survivors of institutions recently held a conference call with Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman. 

It followed the recent controversial sealing of survivors records for 30 years in the Mother and Baby Homes Bill by the Irish government, that was subsequently overturned after it sparked an angry backlash.

David Kinsella and Karl OKelly 1

David Kinsella and Karl O’Kelly protesting at St Patrick’s on November 14 – both men were born at St Patrick’s

The Irish government has said adoptees and survivors of mother and baby homes will be legally entitled to access their personal data.

David Kinsella, who was born in St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home on the Navan Road and never saw his birth mother again, had a 30 minute conference call with Minister O Gorman, along with a number of other survivors.

“My final words to the Minister were you need to put a light back in survivors hearts, both adoptees and mothers regarding all aspects written in the Jim Halley report. I said it's imperative the Minister’s department read that report in depth,” he said.

“During the height of Covid in Belfast, Stormont were able to run a fast track redress for survivors. The Commission’s report must be available to survivors before Christmas and acted on immediately.”

In 2018, Kinsella from Clondalkin, discovered his pension was means tested resulting in €56 per week being deducted by the Department of Social Protection from his weekly Jobseekers payment of €198. Last week, the pension increased to €58 per week but the €58 was taken directly out of his allowance.

“I’m disgusted. Besides the survivor stresses with the files, I have paid into this pension for 18 years. I was a public servant for 18 years. It is penny pinching.”

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