Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (604)

Charles Flanagan

Question:

604. Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice if consideration will be given to the set up a State-backed pension scheme in respect of victims living in this jurisdiction including injured victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and survivors and victims of other terrorist attacks within the State in the context of victims and survivors in troubles-related legacy cases. [6354/21]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, this Government is deeply conscious of the enduring suffering and hardship that survivors of Troubles-related attacks bear. The Government has always sought to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and expectations of victims’ families and survivors of Troubles-related attacks in this jurisdiction.

A substantive measure in this regard was the establishment of the Remembrance Commission in 2003, to administer a Scheme of acknowledgment, assistance and remembrance for victims of the Northern Ireland conflict, and their families, in this jurisdiction. The Commission continued in this work until 2008 and administered Acknowledgement payments, Economic Hardship payments, Displacement payments and Medical payments for victims’ families and those who were seriously injured in Troubles-related incidents in this jurisdiction. The Remembrance Commission also funded memorials.

On the conclusion of the Commission's term of appointment, special arrangements were put in place to ensure that victims resident in the jurisdiction who require ongoing medical treatment for injuries sustained in bombings and other incidents arising from the Troubles may have these costs reimbursed through the Victims of Crime Office of my Department. This scheme continues to this day.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal makes awards to people who have suffered an injury sustained within the State on or after 1st October, 1972. The tribunal considers applications from people who suffer a personal injury or death as a result of a crime of violence. Ex gratia compensation may be awarded on the basis of any vouched out of pocket expenses, including loss of earnings experienced by the victim or, if the victim has died as a result of the incident, by the dependents of the victim.

The Government is committed to addressing the legacy of the past, which, as the Deputy will be aware, is a difficult and complex challenge. The Stormont House Agreement provides for a number of initiatives that will establish an overarching framework to address the past and the Government is fully committed to playing its part in implementing those measures for the benefit of victims and their families.