Monday 5 December 2016

Redress board pays out average of €63,000 per victim

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

Published 20/02/2010 | 05:00

VICTIMS of institutional sex abuse who seek compensation through the State's redress board are receiving an average of €63,210, new figures reveal.

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The Residential Institutions Redress Board has so far processed 13,743 claims from victims of institutional abuse.

A total of 10,188 offers have been made following settlement talks, with another 2,741 made following hearings and 814 withdrawn, refused or given no award.

However, the level of the awards was severely criticised by abuse survivor and 'God Squad' author Paddy Doyle, who yesterday said they fell far short of the sums granted in the courts. He said the court awards were nearer €350,000 and victims had been rushed into accepting the redress board.

Mr Doyle, who was speaking at a press conference in Dublin organised by Survivors of Symphysiotomoy, warned against being too quick to accept a similar compensation route if they were offered it.

As a child he was sent to an industrial school in Cappoquin, Co waterford, and suffered abuse that left him in a wheelchair.

Criticised

He also criticised the fact that victims who went before the redress board could not bring anyone with them to the hearing or talk about the award afterwards. To do so would risk fines of up to €25,000 and jail.

In its latest bulletin, the redress board said the highest award so far had been €300,000. It has paid out €148.5m in legal costs .

Of the 14,667 applications it received, 11 were rejected and 814 were withdrawn, refused or given no award.

In a breakdown of awards the bulletin said that 29 were between €200,000 and €300,000; 209 ranged between €150,000 and €200,000 and 1,717 of the payouts were between €100,00 to €150,000.

Nearly half -- 6,407 -- of the awards were between €50,000 to €100,000. Another 4,567 awards were under €50,000.

An applicant who wanted to lodge an application after December 15, 2005, had to explain in writing to the board why the application had not been lodged on time.

It said it considered each submission individually and by December 15 last, it had received 647 submissions that had been dealt with.

The final bill for the board is expected to be around €1.1bn.

It recently emerged that the board had so far spent more than €900,000 on travel, hotel bills, taxi fares and courier costs.

Irish Independent

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