The government has asked religious institutions in Ireland to pay towards a compensation scheme set-up for survivors of Mother and Baby Homes. These were institutions where unmarried mothers were sent with their children.
An expert negotiator Sheila Nunan has been appointed to talk with church bodies about a financial contribution towards the £700m cost of the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme.
In January 2021, the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes pointed to "significant findings in relation to the failings of the State and the religious congregations who together ran Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions".
The Payment Scheme will provide financial payments to some 34,000 survivors in acknowledgement of suffering experienced while resident in these homes.
The Irish government says it will be the largest scheme of its kind in the State's history in terms of the numbers expected to benefit.
Following the report's publication, Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman sent a letter to all of the religious congregations involved and began individual meetings with six religious congregations and one lay Catholic organisation, as well as the Church of Ireland.
At the time of the scheme's announcement last year, Mr O’Gorman said: “It represents a significant milestone in the State’s acknowledgement of its past failures and of the needless suffering experienced by so many of its citizens."
The Payment Scheme provides for all mothers who spent time in a Mother and Baby Institution, with compensation increasing based on their length of stay. All children who spent six months or more in an institution are also eligible.