Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Residential Institutions Redress Scheme
I again thank the Deputy for raising this issue. When discussing this issue it is difficult to articulate the thoughts and sentiments of people who have experienced it. It is not only that their youths were stolen, what happened has had a massive impact on their adult lives and it continues to impact on them. I take this matter seriously. I await receipt of the former High Court judge, Mr. Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill's report of the 20 cases, following which I will form my own judgment. I am also interested in the recommendations he will put forward on conclusion of his deliberations, which will be accepted in full. It is important to put the latter point on the record.
It would be remiss of me not to reiterate the Taoiseach's comments that this scheme is not working in that of the 50 applications only five are due for assessment, with the remaining 45 not having been refused. As I said, there is something wrong with this scheme and we need to consider how we can put things right. This is the least we can do to bring peace to people who have borne and continue to bear such a heavy weight. I believe that we can do that collectively. Like many other people in this House who have requested that I meet with particular survivor groups - I have met a number of them at this stage - Deputy Quinlivan has asked me to meet the lads from Limerick at some stage in the future and I am happy to do that.