Minister for Education Joe McHugh has said he hopes to bring a memo to Cabinet next week to outline the Government’s response to a judge’s findings that a scheme set up to compensate survivors of child sexual abuse was unfair and illogical.
Speaking in the Dáil, Minister McHugh acknowledged again that the State scheme “simply did not work”.
Earlier this week a judge said the State has misinterpreted a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and in doing so has denied victims of child sexual abuse access to a redress scheme to which they are entitled.
Minister McHugh was speaking after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar apologised yesterday on behalf of the State to victims of historic child sexual abuse in schools.
He confirmed that a condition requiring a prior complaint of abuse against an applicant’s abuser would now be dispensed with, and that the redress scheme would be reopened.
He said his department and the Attorney General are examining the scheme in light of this.
The Minister said he was “determined to get it right”.
He acknowledged, however, that “words are probably useless today to the survivors”.
Mr McHugh said he would meet a group of Limerick men who suffered abuse as small boys at their Christian Brothers school in Creagh Lane.
The men are hoping that the State will now compensate them.
Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea asked would other barriers facing many survivors now also be removed.
He referred to another condition, which requires that proceedings had to be initiated and discontinued within a specific timeframe – known as the statute of limitations.
Mr O’Dea said that many survivors had not taken cases within the given time limit for financial or psychological reasons, or because the prevailing view at the time, based on court rulings later upended by the European court of Human Rights, was that they would have no case.Tags: