Thursday, 21 January 2021

Questions (170)

Paul Murphy


170. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Education if she will reopen the redress scheme for survivors of sexual abuse in schools and require it to act in accordance with various court recommendations from a case (details supplied) such that survivors of sexual abuse in schools are not required to demonstrate a prior complaint and likewise not required to seek redress through the courts or any other adversarial procedure; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3268/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As outlined in previous replies, the Department undertook a review of the ex gratia scheme in response to a determination by the Independent Assessor, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill that one of the criteria for eligibility is incompatible with the ECtHR judgement. While the ex gratia scheme was an administrative scheme, people who have experienced abuse have access to the courts system. There are survivors who wish to see the perpetrators of the abuse wrought on them, brought to court.

Survivors of day school abuse are pursuing cases through the civil courts and are receiving settlements, either through the courts or on an out of court basis.

The ex gratia scheme was established in response to a particular set of circumstances, i.e., people who had discontinued their cases following judgments in the High Court and Supreme Court but following the judgement in the ECtHR case, were unable to reinstate their cases. The review of the scheme will be concluded during 2021.