Ministers provide update on consultation for public inquiry and redress scheme

Date published: 25 June 2024

The next steps to establish a public inquiry and redress scheme for those affected by Mother and Baby Institutions, Magdalene Laundries and Workhouses were announced today.


The First Minister outlined details of the proposals in the Assembly including the launch of a public consultation later this week.

First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Yesterday, the deputy First Minister and I met with some of those affected in the Victims and Survivors Consultation Forum. It was important that they were the first to hear about the next steps in relation to the public consultation. We also wanted to thank them for all their efforts and for the patience and dignity they have shown.

“It is vital that they see the establishment of a public Inquiry and delivery of a Redress Scheme without delay. Survivors have waited too long to have access to truth, acknowledgement and accountability in respect of this shameful part of our past. We hope the draft Bill to establish the Public Inquiry and Financial Redress Schemes will be introduced in the Assembly before the end of this year.”

Deputy First Minster Emma Little-Pengelly said: “The public consultation aims to gather a wide range of views. These views will help shape the legislation necessary to set up the Inquiry to establish answers to the three core questions of; what happened, why it happened; and who was responsible.

“We want to avoid mistakes of the past where victims and survivors were required to wait for too many years before they could access financial redress. That is why, this scheme will provide for a more immediate and standardised payment initially. A further individually assessed payment will be made available following the work of the Inquiry.”

The inquiry and redress public consultation builds on important work to date which includes the appointment of a 10-person Independent Panel being appointed in April 2023 that recently published its Interim Report. In addition, since last year 3,000 private records held by institutions have been secured; guidance to help individuals access their personal records has been produced and over 300 people have accessed dedicated and comprehensive support services for victims and survivors.

The public consultation will be launched later this week.

Notes to editors: 

  1.  A copy of the oral statement is available here: Oral statement - Public Inquiry Mother and Baby Institutions, Magdalene Laundries and Workhouses and Redress Scheme
  2. The NI Executive agreed the Truth Recovery Design Panel’s recommendations in November 2021.
  3. The first phase of the investigation has already begun with the appointment of the Truth Recovery Independent Panel in April 2023. The Panel published an Interim Report in May 2024.
  4. PRONI has been engaging with Institutions to begin the process of accessing, preserving, digitising and cataloguing approximately 4,500 private records, with over 3,000 items being deposited already.
  5. There is specialist support for victims and survivors through the Victims and Survivors Service. Over 300 people have been able to access these support services to date.

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