Consultation process for Restorative Recognition Scheme launches

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Michael Brady

IRELAND’S Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD (above), recently launched a Consultation Process on the development of an ex-gratia Restorative Recognition Scheme for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes.

The scheme has been established as part of the government’s comprehensive response to the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related matters).

The Restorative Recognition Scheme will entail two broad dimensions. Firstly, it will provide restorative recognition payments, which take account of the recommendations of the Commission of Investigation relating to redress—but is not limited to those recommendations. It will provide—as agreed by government—a form of enhanced medical card, for example eligibility for a tailored suite of health services similar to those provided to former residents of Magdalene Laundries, to everyone who was resident in a Mother and Baby Home or County Home for a period of six months or more.

The consultation process will run until March 31, 2021 and there are two ways for people to make their views known— by written submission and/or by participating in one of a number of online consultation meetings which will be arranged between March 18 and 31, 2021. Registration for the online consultation meetings will open immediately and people are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

“The findings of this Consultation Process will play an important role in informing the development of the Restorative Recognition Scheme,” Minister O’Gorman said upon launching the Consultation Process. “Therefore, I would like to encourage all interested parties, in particular former residents, their families, and advocacy and representative groups, to participate in the process and make their views known in relation to the design of the scheme.

“In doing this, I wish to acknowledge the continued efforts of all those who have provided testimony and input into various forms of consultation in recent years and the toll it can take to do so. I hope that this process will be a positive step in the journey to address the wrongs of the past and assist with providing some long-awaited healing and comfort.

“The government is committed to establishing the Restorative Recognition Scheme as soon as possible and for that reason there is a tight timeframe for this stakeholder consultation. In recognition of this, the consultation process will be promoted widely both in Ireland and abroad by direct contact with interest groups, newspaper and social media advertising, and engagement with our extensive embassy network abroad who will publicise this process on our behalf.”

The findings of this consultation process will be documented and submitted in a report to the Interdepartmental Group (IDG) which has been established to develop detailed proposals on a Restorative Recognition Scheme for Government consideration. The services of OAK, an independent, consultancy-based company, have been engaged to undertake this public consultation on behalf of the Interdepartmental Group.

For further information on how to participate in the Consultation Process, please visit: https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/cc828-call-for-submissions-on-a-restorative-recognition-scheme-for-former-residents-of-mother-and-baby-homes-and-county-homes

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