I express again my sympathy for the victims of sexual abuse and acknowledge the trauma they suffered. As the Deputy will be aware, the ex gratia scheme was established on foot of the specific circumstances arising from and in response to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, relating to Ms Louise O'Keeffe. Ireland submits biannual action plans to the relevant committee of ministers which is responsible for supervising the implementation of the judgment of the ECHR.
The ex gratia scheme is not the sole vehicle through which compensation for sexual abuse in day schools has been paid out. Between 2005 and 2018, settlements involving the payment of compensation by the State to victims of day school child sexual abuse have been made to 22 claimants. Mr. Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill, acting as an independent assessor to the scheme, was asked to review the cases of 19 applicants who had not been successful in their application to the scheme. On foot of his determinations, payments are being made to a number of victims of child sexual abuse in day schools. The current position is that 16 offers of payment have been made and, to date, eight have been accepted. Further payments will be made upon acceptance of the remaining offers.
In the aftermath of the independent assessor's determinations, my Department committed to reviewing the ex gratia scheme in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General. I am sure the Deputy will understand the complexity and sensitivity of the issues involved that require very careful deliberation before proposals can be finalised and brought to Government. However, I fully understand and appreciate the urgency involved in this matter, as noted by the Deputy. I expect my officials to present me with draft proposals in the coming weeks for my consideration.