Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (354)

Pearse Doherty


354. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount of compensation awarded to families and relatives of the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; the process by which awards can be appealed in instances in which the beneficiary deems the amount paid out to be inadequate and-or unsatisfactory; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45139/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

It is not appropriate for me to comment on individual cases, however the Deputy will be aware that a Remembrance Commission was established by the Government in 2003 and operated a Scheme of Acknowledgement, Remembrance and Assistance for Victims of the Troubles in this jurisdiction. The Commission's term of appointment formally came to an end on 31 October 2008 and the Commission disbursed over €6.5m to victims and their families in this time. On the conclusion of the Commission's term of appointment, special arrangements were made to ensure that victims resident in the jurisdiction who require on-going medical treatment for injuries sustained in bombings and other incidents arising from the Troubles may have certain costs reimbursed through the Department of Justice and Equality.

The payments made by the Remembrance Commission to victims were as follows -

1. An acknowledgement payment of €15,000 to the surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, to the surviving child or children of a victim who was either fatally injured in this jurisdiction or was normally resident in this jurisdiction.

2. An economic hardship payment of up to €15,000 to: a) the surviving spouse and dependent children of a victim fatally injured in this jurisdiction or whose normal residence at the time the fatal injury was sustained was in this jurisdiction; b) to any victim rendered permanently incapable of working as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in this jurisdiction; c) to a victim or surviving family member who had to move from Northern Ireland to this jurisdiction as a direct consequence of the conflict and who now wishes to return to Northern Ireland; and d) of up to €7,500 to a victim or surviving family member who had to move from this jurisdiction as a direct consequence of the conflict and who now wishes to return.

3. Medical Payments to cover the vouched continuing medical expenses of any victim who was injured in this jurisdiction. The Commission also had the discretion to make exceptional payments of up to €25,000 in cases where the applicant may have accumulated considerable debts for medical treatment prior to the establishment of the Scheme of Remembrance.

As stated, the Remembrance Commission completed its work in 2008 and its term of appointment came to an end so appeals are no longer possible.

The Deputy will also be aware that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal administers the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted. This scheme was originally established in 1974 following the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Under the terms of the Scheme, the Tribunal is entirely independent in the matter of individual decisions on applications for compensation under the Scheme. The terms of the Scheme are available on my Department’s website at www.justice.ie. An individual dissatisfied with a decision of first instance made by a single Tribunal Member may have his claim heard before a panel of three Tribunal Members. No appeal against or review of a final decision of the Tribunal is permitted. The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot comment on individual cases. If the Deputy or an applicant contact Tribunal staff directly with further details, they will be able to provide any information required.