Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (170)

Denis Naughten


250 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Science the plans he has to issue compensation to persons (details supplied) who were abused in an institution while under the care of the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6625/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

On 11 May 1999 the Taoiseach, on behalf of the State, apologised to the victims of childhood abuse and announced a range of measures the Government intended to introduce to assist victims.

In 2002 the Oireachtas enacted the Residential Institutions Redress Act to provide a means for making financial awards to assist people who as children were abused while resident in certain institutions in which the State had a regulatory function.

Currently, 128 institutions are listed on the schedule to the Residential Institutions Redress Act. Section 4 of the Act enables additional institutions identified as reformatory schools, industrial schools, orphanages, children's homes and special schools, in which children were placed and resident and in respect of which a public body had a regulatory or inspection function, to be added to the schedule.

My Department has received correspondence from both individuals and survivor groups identifying a number of additional institutions that may be eligible for inclusion in the schedule. The institution named in the Deputy's question is one of these institutions. Discussions have taken place between my Department and other Departments that may have provided a regulatory or inspection function in the operation of these facilities in order to ascertain whether these institutions are in fact eligible for inclusion.

It is my intention that a list of qualifying institutions will be brought before both Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as the verification process is completed.