*** DEBUG END ***

Irish government acts to hasten reparation payments to survivors of mother-and-baby homes

05 January 2024


Silhouettes of children and the names of those who died in Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork are projected on to Sean Ross Abbey, in County Tipperary, in 2021

Silhouettes of children and the names of those who died in Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork are projected on to Sean Ross A...

THE Irish government is to carry out its own assessment of the assets held by church organisations, in a bid to speed up negotiations over reparation payments to survivors of mother-and-baby homes.

Discussions about who should contribute to compensation packages for the women and children who survived the homes, which operated from 1922 to 1998, have been under way for three years. So far, only one Roman Catholic order has said that it will contribute to payouts.

The €800-million redress scheme was announced by the Irish government in 2021; it is estimated that 34,000 former residents will be entitled to compensation. The scheme followed a five-year investigation into the homes, in which women who became pregnant outside marriage were sent, many under duress, to avoid what was then seen as scandal (News, 15 January 2021).

The Commission of Investigation report, dated October 2020, found that the harsh treatment of residents was “supported by, contributed to, and condoned by” the institutions of the State and Churches.

Seven RC bodies and one Protestant organisation that ran homes or were linked to them have been asked to contribute financially to the redress scheme. The Church of Ireland has been asked for a contribution on behalf of the Protestant-run Bethany Home, although the Church said that it “neither owned nor operated any of the homes”.

The order to examine financial assets was requested by the special government negotiator, Sheila Nunan, who has been in charge of talks with religious bodies since the commission released its report.

The Office of the Department for Children confirmed that Ms Nunan had asked for a financial assessment. “The Minister and his department is committed to the process of assisting the independent negotiator in her work and as part of this process, the requirement for financial assistance was identified,” a statement said.

Only one RC organisation, the Bon Secours order, has so far said that it will contribute financially to the redress scheme, but has not disclosed how much.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available


Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


Visit our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)