Questions on Promised Legislation
Deputy Maurice Quinlivan: My question is for the Minister for Education and Skills and it relates to the survivors of historical child sex abuse at Creagh Lane national school in Limerick and other schools. These people have been denied compensation in respect of the awful abuse inflicted on them by their teacher, who has been convicted in court, due to the prior complaint requirement imposed by this Government’s interpretation, or misinterpretation, of the Louise O’Keeffe judgment. Will the Government now drop that unfair requirement and allow these people to access compensation for the awful abuse they suffered while attending these schools?
Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Education and Skills: In the Louise O’Keeffe case, the legal advice to the Government was that prior notice is required. We have set up an ex gratia payment scheme under which a number of applications have been made. Some have been paid out but we have also made provision for an appeal mechanism. Mr. Justice O’Neill is receiving those appeals and will be scrutinising them. Among those appeals are some of the issues raised by the Deputy as to the legal basis of the case being made by Government.