The investigation into the mother and baby homes is a “mass betrayal and complete fraud” according to a survivor of a Dublin institution.
Derek Leinster, who grew up in the Protestant run Bethany Home in Rathgar, is a veteran campaigner and founder of The Bethany Home Survivors’ Group who has spent two decades fighting for the survivors to be compensated by the State over their treatment in the home.
Following the publication of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes two weeks ago, Leinster blasted its findings as an “horrendous whitewash”.
“The Commission is saying all was in order with the Bethany home burials in Mount Jerome,” Leinster told Dublin Gazette.
“That is not what I could agree to after my years of research of the 11 burial ledgers.
“The commission’s calculation of the total number of Bethany burials, 260, is wrong.
“We identified 310, 17 of whom were unnamed children.
“This is because the commission report says they are not including children who had been in the institutions and who died after they were placed at nurse or boarded out.
“This decision affects Bethany Home, which sent children out temporarily.
“71 such children, whose names I supplied to the Commission in 2018, are excluded.
“We regard these children as Bethany victims and we added their names to the Bethany Monument in June 2018.
“The Commission has created more questions than answers and I believe Judge Murphy should resign.”
Leinster, who lives in the UK, is due in Ireland for a visit with Minister Katherine Zappone on May 30th.
In January Minister Zappone announced the Government had extended the deadline for The Commission to deliver its final report by another year until 2020.
Bethany was not among the institutions included in the original redress scheme.
The State denied liability saying Bethany hadn’t been its’ responsibility.
When the survivors produced documents proving the contrary, the State said Bethany was a mother and baby home, and outside the remit of the scheme, which was for reformatories and industrial schools.
Last year however, the Commission said it didn’t see why residents of the Bethany Home were excluded from the State’s 2002 redress scheme.
“The Minister needs to intervene to help reverse a cruel decision and she needs to explain why it’s taking so long,” Leinster said.
“They’re playing a game with us. I think they hope we’ll all die off soon so they won’t have to deal with us.
“We have been treated terribly by not just Minister Zappone but all the previous ministers before her for over 20 years.
“She has gone on record to say that there was no proof of any harm to me or any of the Bethany survivors despite a mountain of proof.
“The Commission and the Minister for Children have no interest in living survivors, they are happy spending millions on the Tuam bones and DNA, which won’t help one living survivor.
“This is abuse of power.”