A report by an interdepartmental group, established to develop proposals for a redress scheme for survivors of mother-and-baby homes, has been delayed for a number of weeks.
The interdepartmental group was asked to submit its report on the Restorative Recognition Scheme to the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O'Gorman by 30 April.
In correspondence to survivors yesterday, the Mother and Baby Homes Investigation Unit at the Department of Children outlined reasons for the delay.
It said the public consultation process managed on behalf of the Department by OAK Consulting resulted in approximately 450 written submissions and 17 online meetings.
There were a number of additional online consultation meetings and accepted written submissions after the closing date of 31 March.
OAK presented interim findings in a "detailed presentation" to the interdepartmental group at a meeting on 22 April.
The final report was due to be delivered by OAK yesterday, 17 May.
The correspondence to survivors stated that "these factors" resulted in a delay in getting the final report of the interdepartmental group to Minister O’Gorman.
The email said: "We were aware from the outset that the IDG (the Interdepartmental Group) was working to an ambitious deadline. We were also aware that because of that ambitious deadline, the window for consultation was shorter than the Minister or the Department would have liked".
"The IDG are working extremely hard to ensure that they deliver their report to the Minister in the coming weeks. Following from this the Minister will submit recommendations to Government for a decision on the Restorative Recognition Scheme."
The correspondence acknowledged that news of the delay "may be disappointing", however, it noted "how important it is for the Interdepartmental Group to give this matter the time and consideration it deserves" and for it to be fully informed of the views of former residents in its deliberations.