Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes is 'time waster' that will leave survivors with nothing, claims Derek Leinster

By James Ward
Irish Mirror
July 12, 2015

Derek Leinster who was born at The Bethany Home

The Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes is a “time waster” that will leave survivors with nothing, it was claimed on Saturday.

Derek Leinster, a representative of The Bethany Home, accused the Government of waiting for survivors to die before justice is done.

The inquiry will examine the dreadful conditions children were subjected to in the State-run institutions throughout most of the last century.

Mr Leinster said survivors of the
Bethany Home, a Protestant facility where 227 children perished, are being swept aside despite having documents that prove they were residents.

He told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “By us going on this commission it means it’s going to be dragged out for another eight to 10 years, five at the best.

“As far as the Bethany Home people are concerned, because of their ages and health state, most of them are dying. Many have died, by a long way. The few that are left
have dementia, early stages and progressive stages.

“They obviously are not going to be able to see or understand, if ever they did get justice, that it happened.”

Mr Leinster said he wants to see survivors who can prove they were in the institutions placed on a fast-track scheme, rather than waiting for the commission’s conclusion.

He added: “At the end of the day, any survivor who has got their documents, that should be it.

“They know what went on. They don’t need to drag this out for years.”

The broad terms of the commission – which will include investigations into forced adoption and discrimination against mixed-race and Traveller children – have been widely welcomed.

But there are growing calls for the redress scheme to be run in parallel to the inquiry.

Mr Leinster said the historical probe into conditions in the institutions would be painful and unnecessary for survivors of the Bethany Home.

He added: “As far as we’re concerned, having people come before this commission, they’re not going to have memory of the Bethany Home.

“Most of these people left by the time they were four.

“It’s the documents that I have come across, and their own documents which
had been hidden from them, that makes
the case.

“At the end of the day, there would hardly be more than five Protestants out there who would be able to go through all this.

“If you’re talking about all Protestants, from West Bank to Bethany Home, you’re talking no more than 15.”



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