Readers, and followers of our In:Visible Women, work may be aware that on Tue 16 Nov 2021 the Irish Government approved proposals for a Mother and Baby Institutions payment scheme. It has also published an Action Plan for Survivors and former residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions. read the official notice here.
Clarfying some of the information, the Irish Embassy have stated “The payments scheme will provide financial payments and an enhanced medical card to defined groups in acknowledgement of suffering experienced while resident in Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions. It may be worth noting that at the press conference announcing details of the scheme, Minister O’Gorman was asked about how survivors abroad would be facilitated in terms of a medical card, if they meet the eligibility criteria. He replied as per the attached FAQs – Living Abroad (page 8), which outlines that those abroad can opt to receive a one off payment of €3,000 instead of a medical card. While the scheme has been announced this week, it is likely to be a number of months before the relevant legislation is in place to establish the scheme on a statutory basis”.
Additionally, those living abroad will be able to apply in the same way as someone living in Ireland. The financial payments from this scheme can be paid to a person, regardless of where they are living. But, if they are also deemed eligible for an enhanced medical card, they will have to make a choice. They can choose to take the card and use it when they spend time in Ireland and/or should they decide to move back to Ireland permanently, or they can opt to instead receive a one off payment of €3,000 in lieu of the enhanced medical card, as a contribution towards their individual health needs.
A useful FAQ document has been posted online. Queries on the scheme should be directed to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth either by e-mail or through their information line +35 (0) 3-1-647 3200, available from Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5:30pm.
Minister Colm Brophy issued a statement following the publication of the scheme, which can be accessed at this link.
Ask for Clare
Finally, please see the attached document from ICAP about their new ‘Ask for Clare’ service which offers dedicated support to those affected by the issue of Mother and Baby Homes.