I propose to take Questions Nos. 664 and 717 together.
A commitment was made in the Programme for Government to seek a mechanism to compensate those women who were excluded on age grounds alone from the Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme. The Scheme of Redress approved by Government in 2007 was a non-statutory, ex-gratia scheme. Awards were determined by an independent Redress Board in 2007 and 2008. I have in the past met representatives of the women excluded on such grounds from the scheme, and I would envisage further consultation with these women, and/or their representatives, as the matter progresses.
My Department has been engaged in a review to identify the most appropriate mechanism to compensate these women. This review has included taking instructions and legal advice, including advice from the Office of the Attorney General, with a view to bringing proposals to Government for a decision. This process is ongoing, and it is my intention that it will be brought to a satisfactory, legally sound conclusion as quickly as possible.