News & Events

Parliamentary Questions – 23 September 2015

Below are questions asked by TDs in Dáil Éireann, relating to Caranua and other areas relevant to survivors

Eligibility to apply to Residential Institutions Redress Board

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding persons who were institutionalised in the 1950s; and if she will make a statement on the matter. 

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan):On the 11th of May 1999, the Taoiseach, on behalf of the State, apologised to the victims of childhood abuse and announced a range of measures the Government intended to introduce to assist victims. In 2002, the Oireachtas enacted the Residential Institutions Redress Act in order to provide a means for making financial awards to assist people who as children were abused while resident in certain institutions in which the State had a regulatory function.

In framing the legislation, the Government was conscious that a significant number of former residents who were eligible to make an application for redress in their own right, were in ill health or elderly and that it was probable that some victims would pass away before they would get the opportunity to finalise their application to the Residential Institutions Redress Board. With this in mind and in order to avoid a situation where a person’s application would fail on death, the Government decided to include Section 9 in the Redress Act. This enabled the spouse or children of a person, who was entitled to make an application but died after the 11th of May 1999 (the date of the Taoiseach’s apology) to make an application.

Essentially, the legislation was applicable from the 11th of May 1999. As with every such scheme, there has to be a cut off point and the decision was taken to use the date of the Taoiseach’s apology as the cut off point. It is not intended to revisit the legislation.