Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Ceisteanna (230, 231)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

230. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has considered broadening the terms of the Magdalen restorative justice ex gratia scheme for those who were resident in one of the 14 adjoining institutions to include men who were young boys at the time and lived and worked with their sisters in the Magdalen institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51516/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

231. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if cost estimates have been made regarding the potential cost of expanding the terms of the Magdalen restorative justice ex gratia scheme for those who worked in Magdalen institutions and were resident in one of the 14 adjoining institutions to include men who were young boys at the time and lived and worked with their sisters in the institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51517/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 230 and 231 together.

The Magdalen Restorative Justice Ex-Gratia Scheme was established in 2013 on foot of the recommendations contained in the Magdalen Commission Report (Quirke Report). That Report was a response to an Interdepartmental Government Committee report (McAleese Report) that was set up to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen institutions.

The ex-gratia scheme was established for the benefit of women who were admitted to and worked in the ten Magdalen Institutions as well as St Mary’s Domestic Training Centre Stanhope Street and the House of Mercy Domestic Training School Summerhill, Wexford. For the purposes of the ex-gratia scheme, these twelve institutions are collectively called the ‘Magdalen institutions’.

Arising from a recommendation made by the Ombudsman in his report on the operation of the ex-gratia scheme, the Government decided in May 2018 to apply the scheme to women who worked in the laundries of the 12 ‘Magdalen institutions' but who were resident in one of 14 adjoining institutions. In order to apply this decision and, in consultation with the Office of the Ombudsman, an Addendum to the terms of the 2013 ex-gratia scheme was published.

To date, almost €31 million has been paid to 787 applicants under the Magdalen restorative justice ex-gratia scheme by way of lump sum payments varying from €11,500 to €100,000, depending on the length of stay in a relevant institution. Successful applicants under the scheme are also entitled to welfare and medical benefits.

115 applications have been made under the Addendum. These applications comprise 52 cases refused under the original scheme which may now be eligible, and 63 new applications. Decisions have been made in all but five of the Addendum applications.

As outlined the scheme was devised to address the needs of women and young girls who were admitted to these institutions. Any extension of the scheme as the Deputy suggests would incur additional costs, but as I do not propose to extend the scheme beyond its current remit, no estimates of such costs have been calculated.