Thalidomide survivors


Sir, – June Shannon’s article on the thalidomide tragedy makes for very sad reading and the inaction of Irish governments over the last 60 years certainly points to the reality of the article’s title, viz: “The State is only waiting for us to die.” (News, December 6th).

What this group of people want, and deserve, is an apology and the mothers of these people also need to hear said what I hope they know in their hearts to be true, which is that this was not their fault.

If our Government can find it in them to pay up to €420,000 of taxpayer money for each mica-affected home, something that was not the responsibility of the State nor its taxpayers, then why not respond to victims of the thalidomide tragedy and apologise to them for State failures?

Going further, if every thalidomide victim was paid redress of €420,000 (not they are asking for this), as is being paid for mica houses, it would amount to €25 million or just 1.26 per cent of what taxpayers are handing over in compensation to rebuild homes. Taoiseach – it is (as it has been for years) time to act. – Yours, etc,



Co Westmeath.