Mother and Baby Homes Redress Scheme: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Kathleen Funchion on Tuesday, 23 November 2021.
That Dáil Éireann:
acknowledges:
—that the State failed the women and children who were in Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes institutions;
—that women and their children were unlawfully separated during their time in these institutions;
—that women and their children were unlawfully separated during their time in institutions not investigated by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters;
—that women and their children were unlawfully separated in non-institutionalised settings, including through adoption agencies and private facilitators;
—the Taoiseach’s acceptance of the lack of respect for the fundamental dignity and rights of mothers and children who spent time in these institutions and that the State did not uphold its duty of care to them;
—that the Taoiseach’s apology in January did not acknowledge the full extent of the human rights violations experienced by people affected by this issue;
—that the State has failed to acknowledge the full extent of unlawful and forced family separation; and
—that the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters is currently being challenged in the High Court;
recognises:
—the personal trauma and human rights abuse of forced family separation;
—that the harms associated with forced family separation are not dependent on length of stay in a Mother and Baby Home or similar institution;
—that the harms associated with forced family separation are not dependent on spending time in an institution; and
—that the exclusion of people who were in these institutions for a period less than six months, people who were boarded out, people who were in institutions not falling under the remit of the Commission of Investigation, and people who experienced forced family separation but were not institutionalised is inequitable and unjust;
commends the survivors, mothers, adopted people, their families, and the families of the children who died in these institutions for sharing their lived experiences and trauma, and those who have advocated on their behalf; and
calls on the Government to:
—seek immediate and substantive recourse from religious orders and pharmaceutical companies to contribute to the State’s redress scheme;
—use OAK’s ‘Report of the findings of the Consultation with Survivors of Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes’ as a basis for amending the proposed redress scheme;
—engage immediately with the victims and survivors’ organisations and those directly affected by the scandal of Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes institutions; and
—urgently review, in consultation with these groups, the following matters:
—the time-based criteria;
—the exclusion of children who were boarded out from the redress scheme;
—access to the enhanced medical card;
—proposed payment rates;
—the failure to include all Mother and Baby Homes, County Homes, institutions, agencies and individuals involved in forced family separation;
—the legal waiver attached to the scheme; and
—amend the scheme accordingly to meet the needs of the survivors."
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after "Dáil Éireann" and substitute the following:
"acknowledges:
— that the State failed the women and children who were in Ireland's Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes institutions;
— that women and their children were separated through coercion and/or force, often unlawfully, during their time in these institutions;
— that women and their children were separated through coercion and/or force, often unlawfully, during their time in institutions not investigated by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters;
— that women and their children were separated through coercion and/or force, often unlawfully, in non-institutionalised settings, including through adoption agencies, maternity hospitals and private facilitators;
— the role religious authorities, social workers and private individuals played in non-institutionalised settings, where women and their children were separated through coercion and/or force, often unlawfully;
— the Taoiseach's acceptance of the lack of respect for the fundamental dignity and rights of mothers and children who spent time in these institutions and that the State did not uphold its duty of care to them;
— that the Taoiseach's apology in January did not acknowledge the full extent of the human rights violations experienced by people affected by this issue, and the long-term effects of these violations on their lives;
— that the Taoiseach's apology in January did not acknowledge the full extent of the human rights violations experienced by people affected by this issue;
— that the State has failed to acknowledge the full extent of unlawful and forced family separation; and
— that the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters, which is currently being challenged in the High Court, failed utterly to respect, acknowledge, or give adequate weight to the personal testimonies of survivors;
recognises:
— the personal trauma and human rights abuse of coercion of a mother to relinquish her baby and of forced family separation;
— that the harms associated with forced family separation are not dependent on length of stay in a Mother and Baby Home or similar institution;
— that the harms associated with forced family separation are not dependent on spending time in an institution;
— that the exclusion of people who were in these institutions for a period less than six months, people who were boarded out, placed at nurse, people who were in institutions not falling under the remit of the Commission of Investigation, and people who experienced forced family separation but were not institutionalised is inequitable, unjust, and contrary to the survivor feedback received by OAK;
— the primal wound of separating babies from their mothers, by coercion and/or force, often unlawfully, at any age; and
— that all babies, regardless of age, experienced trauma due to being deprived of their mother's care, often being left unsupervised, neglected and/or malnourished;
commends the survivors, mothers, adopted people, their families, and the families of the children who died in these institutions for sharing their lived experiences and trauma, and those who have advocated on their behalf; and
calls on the Government to:
— demand immediate and substantive recourse from religious authorities (both Catholic and Protestant) and pharmaceutical companies to contribute to the State's redress scheme and, if necessary, expropriate their assets to achieve this;
— use OAK's 'Report of the findings of the Consultation with Survivors of Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes' as a basis for amending the proposed redress scheme;
— engage immediately with the victims and survivors' organisations and those directly affected by the scandal of Mother and Baby Home and County Home institutions;
— urgently review, in consultation with these groups, the following matters:
— the time-based criteria;
— the exclusion of children who were boarded out/placed at nurse from the redress scheme;
— access to the enhanced medical card;
— proposed payment rates;
— the failure to include all Mother and Baby Homes, County Homes, institutions, agencies and individuals involved in forced family separation;
— the legal waiver attached to the scheme; and
— amend the scheme accordingly to meet the needs of those survivors;
— repudiate the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters and cease contesting cases that are being taken by survivors;
— ensure that applications for redress payments for older survivors, who are pensioners, be opened from next January 2022 rather than the end of 2022;
— investigate records and burial sites of homes (including Tuam) where babies and children have been documented as deceased but where there are no burial records;
— provide all adoptees, boarded out and placed at nurse people with their full medical history as a priority;
— make a State apology to adopted, boarded out and placed at nurse people who were placed in abusive families and households; and
— preserve the oral confidential committee tapes and written Commission of Investigation testimonies in consultation with the survivors."
- (Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to the motion regarding the mother and baby homes redress scheme. On Tuesday, 23 November 2021, on the question, "That the amendment to the motion be agreed to", a division was claimed, and in accordance with Standing Order 80(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 57; Níl, 73; Staon, 0.

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Cairns, Holly.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Donoghue, Richard.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Níl

  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Varadkar, Leo.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Richard Boyd Barrett and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn; Níl, Deputies Jack Chambers and Brendan Griffin.
Amendment declared lost.
Motion put and declared carried.