Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (240)

Eoghan Murphy


240. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding inclusion for the consideration of the Residential Institutions Redress Board. [12953/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002 established the Redress Board to make financial awards to people who, as children were resident in specified institutions and who have or have had injuries that are consistent with abuse received while resident in these institutions. The Schedule to the 2002 Act specified 123 institutions and section 4 of the Act enables the Minister for Education and Science to provide for the insertion into the Schedule of "any industrial school, reformatory school, orphanage, children's home, special school which was established for the purpose of providing education services to children with a physical or intellectual disability or a hospital providing medical or psychiatric services to people with a physical or mental disability or mental illness in which children were placed and resident and in respect of which a public body had a regulatory or inspection function." Two Orders have been made specifying 16 additional institutions, in November 2004 and July 2005, bringing the total number of scheduled institutions to 139. The position of the Regina Coeli hostel was considered by my Department but it was not included in the Schedule as hostels did not come within the terms of section 4 of the Act. A request to include an institution at the same address and known as the Morning Star Mother and Baby Home was also refused on the basis that there was no record of State responsibility for it.

Following the publication of the Ryan Report in May 2009, there were a range of demands for the redress scheme to be extended, including demands to include specific institutions and categories of institutions. Having considered these demands, the then Government announced its decision not to revise the arrangements in its press statement of 15th April, 2010.

While the original closing date for receipt of applications by the Redress Board was 15th December, 2005, the Board could accept late applications in exceptional circumstances. The Residential Institutions Redress Amendment Act, 2011 removed the Board's power to accept late applications received on or after the 17th September, 2011. The Board is continuing to finalise the remaining applications before it.

Finally, I wish to clarify that the Bethany Home is not a scheduled institution under the Redress Scheme.