The Irish government approved on Nov. 16 the proposals for an €800 million ($905 million) compensation package to thousands of survivors of Mother and Baby Institutions.
The package will offer up to €65,000 ($73,604) to each mother and child who survived a practice that spanned nearly 80 years in Ireland.
Unmarried mothers were shunned and hidden away in church-run institutions.
According to the government, about 34,000 people are expected to be eligible for compensation.
Under the payment scheme, all mothers who spent time in a Mother and Baby Institution will be eligible for a payment, which will increase based on their length of stay.
Children who spent at least six months in an institution and have not previously received compensation from the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme will be eligible for payment based on their length of stay.
Applicants will only need to show proof of residency, without a need to bring forward any evidence of abuse or medical evidence.
Sworn affidavits may be required for some circumstances, however.
Survivors who are currently living abroad will also be eligible for a payment.
Minister for Children Roderic O’ Gorman described the payment scheme as “a significant milestone in the state’s acknowledgement of its past failures and of the needless suffering experienced by so many of its citizens.”
“There is no payment or measure that can ever fully compensate or atone for the harm done through the Mother and Baby Institutions. What we have set out today is the next chapter in the State’s response to the legacy of those institutions, and its commitment to rebuilding the trust it so grievously shattered,” O’Gorman further said.
The payment scheme came after a report in January revealed the number of deaths of babies in the institutions and the cruelty residents suffered.
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