Saturday 21 October 2017

Child sex abuse victims being 'bullied' by State to drop redress claims – Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald .Photo: Tom Burke
Mary Lou McDonald .Photo: Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

The State has continued to “bully and bullyrag” victims of child sex abuse by threatening them with huge court costs to drop their compensation claims, the Dáil has been told.

Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, said 210 people out of a total of 250 with compensation cases, had been obliged to drop their claims. She said the State Claims Agency had told them they faced tens of thousands of euro in court costs.

Ms McDonald said some people had tried to legally revive their cases for redress in the wake of a European Court of Human Rights judgement in favour of Cork woman, Louise O’Keeffe. She said the State had relentlessly opposed her claim for redress after being abused as an eight-year-old by her teacher.

The Sinn Féin TD said a man named John Allen had his case before the Courts today concerning costs. She demanded that the Government guarantee they would not pursue costs.

“The victims have been bullied and ballyragged,” Ms McDonald said.

Replying for the Government, Education Minister, Richard Bruton, said the victims of many of these cases had received ex-gratia payments. He said he could not give any guarantees on cases before the courts.

“This is a matter for the Courts – not the Oireachtas,” Mr Bruton said.

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