Press Release in wake of Redress Rejection 16th November 2014

Survivors of symphysiotomy reject Government payment scheme

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Survivors of symphysiotomy have roundly rejected the Government’s payment scheme. In mass meetings held in Cork yesterday and in Dublin today, attended by 345 survivors and family members, 83 per cent of Survivors of Symphysiotomy voted to reject the scheme published earlier by the Minister for Health. Chairperson Marie O’Connor said: ‘our members have voted overwhelmingly not to enter this discriminatory and oppressive scheme’.

The Dublin meeting was filmed by international news outlet Al Jazeera, who flew in from London for the occasion.

‘We had a full and frank discussion of the scheme’s draconian terms and conditions at these extraordinary general meetings’, said Marie O’Connor. ‘The National Executive made no recommendation to members. The vote against the scheme was 83 per cent.’

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‘They rejected the ex gratia nature of a scheme that says the government is not to blame, the State did no wrong, these operations were acceptable, because such a scheme offers no accountability, no truth and no justice.’

‘They rejected the unfair, restrictive and totally unrealistic time limits for applications and supply of documents to the scheme that are designed to ensure that no survivor can obtain more than the minimum of €50,000, and demanded that the scheme be open-ended, just like other schemes for victims of abuse.’

‘They rejected the grossly discriminatory and utterly unjust aspects of the scheme that exclude women with dementia and, logistically, those living abroad; that penalise less well off women, those without records, those with knowledge and/or psychological issues.’

Other schemes for victims of abuse that were left open-ended, with no expiry date include the redress scheme for the Magdalene women, victims of abuse in residential institutions and those infected with Hepatitis C and HIV by the State’s contaminated blood.

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