Dáil Issues, Social Welfare

To ask the Minister for Social Protection the consideration he has given to a review of the provisions of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2013, including single insolvencies and their effects on pensioners
– Clare Daly.
* For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016.

R E P L Y

In Ireland, occupational pension schemes are generally set up under trust and are maintained by the employer on a voluntary basis. The trust deeds and rules of a scheme differ from scheme to scheme, and as with any contractual situation, reflect the level of obligation of the parties involved. While the Pensions Act provides a framework for the regulation and supervision of occupational pension schemes, it does not impose any requirement on an employer to fund scheme benefits or maintain an existing scheme.
The Social Welfare and Pensions (No.2) Act 2013 provided for a fairer and more equitable distribution of scheme assets in the event of the wind up of an underfunded scheme. It also facilitated a greater sharing of the risk between all the beneficiaries when a scheme is underfunded, while still providing for priority protection of pension benefits. Prior to the introduction of this Act, pensioner benefits were given priority over the benefits of active and deferred scheme members which meant a situation could arise whereby pensioners received all or almost all of the pension fund and members who had contributed but not retired received considerably less than expected.
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Children and Youth Affairs, Human Rights

Please help me find my missing brothers

An open letter to the Irish Government.

I am writing this letter out of pure desperation. It is 2 am Irish time and I feel I’m at my wits end. I have done absolutely everything I can think of to find my missing brothers; I have written over 200 letters and emails and I have gotten nowhere. My kitchen has turned into an office, I am a one woman show, I have boxes and folders with every single letter copied and filed as proof of my search. This is my last-ditch attempt to try and find any shred of evidence regarding my brothers. Somebody, somewhere must know who they are and what happened to them. They are two of Ireland’s longest missing children, but very few people know that. I don’t know anyone who knew them. I am an only child. I don’t have a photo of them. All I have is certificates, and that’s it, that is all there is to prove they existed. I have created more paperwork writing to every Government Minister involved in the mother and baby homes scandal, every Garda Commissioner, the Attorney General, you name it. And what have I got in return? “Sorry we can’t help you”.

My brothers are attached to the 796 children who died in the controversial St. Brigid’s Mother and Baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway which was run by the Bons Secours nuns from 1925 to 1961. There has been a Commission established into the Mother and Baby homes, but I am not involved with them, and anyone I approach for help, directs me to the Commission, everyone is hiding behind the Commission which in my personal view is not doing enough to establish where my brothers and all the missing children are. Did the pied piper dance his way into Tuam over a forty-year period and take away 796 children never to return to their families? Did no one seen him spirit these children away without anyone raising a red flag? Or did the children die in the home and are they buried all over the land under a housing estate? Who knows? If the children are buried on the grounds, where are they? No one sat down and spent years writing up Death Certs unless children died or were illegally adopted.

Let me tell you all I know about John Desmond and William Joseph Dolan. They are my brothers, but we have never met each other, if they are alive, they don’t know about me, they may not even know about each other. They may not even know they were adopted. If they are dead, I don’t know where they are buried.  I know there is a “small children’s grave at the back of the former mother and baby home in Tuam” where I was directed by Sr. Marie Ryan with the Bons Secours nuns when I wrote to her in 2013 but I don’t know where exactly their alleged plots are. They are known as the “Tuam brothers” while I am known as the “Dolan sister”. I will not identify myself at this stage, but I am willing to go anywhere at any time to meet anyone who has any information about them because the Irish Government and Police simply cannot or will not give me any answers.
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Children and Youth Affairs, Human Rights, Justice

 CALL FOR INQUIRY INTO WHO KNEW WHAT AND WHEN THEY KNEW IT

The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS) strongly supports the actions of Whistleblower Philip Garland, former assistant National Director of child and family services with the Health Service Executive and who was Director of child protection in the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin from 2003 to 2009.  We applaud Mr. Garland who is currently going public with a number of very serious allegations about senior civil servants and Ministers knowing about an explosive internal report into forged infant mortality rates, illegal adoptions and industrial scale child trafficking inside and outside of Mother and Baby homes. CMABS understands there are many more serious matters to be revealed by Mr. Garland who has recently founded a Charity for the survivors of church and state abuse in Ireland and abroad.
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Features

after Enda Kenny

 

Donald J. Duck on his election

as forty fifth, and possibly final,

President of that great entity

traditionally known as the United

States which, admittedly,

by the time he’s finished with it,

will likely be called something else.

 

In the heat of battle President-elect

Duck has said things

which have left him with bridges to build

with certain people, such as Mexican

transsexuals, and women

who don’t want him,

or anyone politically

associated with him even thinking

about grabbing their

vaginas, or the vaginas of their

friends, mothers-in-law, or

as yet unborn children.

 

We think today in particular of

Secretary of State Clinton,

though only very briefly,

for eaten parsnips are quickly

digested, and we must move on.

Democracy (and, for that matter,

dictatorship) have their own outcomes.

This being the case, if President-elect

Duck wants to build a crazy golf course

in every front garden on this island,

I will work closely with compliant

urban district councils, sympathetic

journalists, and members of the judiciary

to have the necessary planning

fast-tracked.

 

And rest assured, every opportunity

that presents itself, either

I or one of my Ministers will be there

to shake his hand,

or any other part of his anatomy

President-elect, Donald J.

Duck, wants shaken.

 

KEVIN HIGGINS