Compensation 'leads to false abuse claims'
SHANE HICKEY THE compensation system for alleged sexual abuses is seriously flawed and encourages people to make false claims, according to a group supporting the religious orders.
Florence Horsman Hogan, of the Let Our Voices Emerge (LOVE) organisation, said that while any allegation of child abuse must be investigated, the presumption of innocence for the accused was lost.
Her comments came at a meeting of the group in Dublin yesterday, where a number of former industrial school pupils and people who have had false abuse claims made against them gathered.
Attending the event was Nora Wall, whose conviction on a charge of rape was quashed five years ago.
Ms Wall said it was too easy to make false claims.
Ms Horsman Hogan said that the compensation system was seriously flawed and that it encouraged people who had not been abused to falsely claim payment.
"In 2005 this will leave the Irish taxpayer wide open," said Ms Horsman Hogan.
A man who had been accused of rape and sexual assault - which did not proceed to court after a judicial review - said that he would have committed suicide during the ordeal if it wasn't for people in his area supporting him.
"To the present day, I haven't taken one of my grandchildren in my arms," said Michael Fitzpatrick of Kilkenny.
Another man, Patsy McGlinchey, who had been charged with, and later found innocent of, sexual abuse charges on two children in a special school, said that both he and his wife had suffered from severe depression as a result of the incident.