Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (400)

Martin Browne

Question:

400. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Education the supports available for victims of historic abuse in day schools under the patronage of the Roman Catholic Church; and if they have been included in a redress scheme to date. [6414/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The abuse of children in any setting is a heinous crime and every effort should be made to bring the perpetrator to justice through the courts system. All reports of abuse should be reported to the Gardaí who will investigate each reported abuse. There is no time limit on the investigation of cases of historical abuse.

For people who were abused in childhood, there is a National Counselling Service, run by the Health Service Executive. It's a free nationwide service, which provides Face to face, counselling by phone and online video counselling.

An ex gratia redress scheme was established on foot of the specific circumstances arising from and in response to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) relating to Louise O'Keeffe. The scheme, was established in 2015 to provide an effective remedy for a specific category of people, namely those persons who had commenced domestic litigation but who had discontinued those proceedings following High Court and Supreme Court judgments and because of this discontinuation had no domestic remedy.

The Department undertook a review of the 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.

The review of the ex-gratia scheme is ongoing.