State urged not to wind down Redress Board
THOUSANDS of victims of sexual abuse will be denied compensation unless the government extends the life of the Redress Board, a leading charity has warned, writes Nick Bramhill.
One in Four, the group that provides support to abuse victims, said it was concerned at the Department of Education's moves to wind down the Redress Board.
The charity expressed concern that the findings in the Ryan Report in June last year will prompt many more former residents who suffered abuse, but who have yet to apply for compensation, to lodge claims.
The Redress Scheme was set up in 2002 to compensate those who suffered abuse as children in 139 state-run institutions.
Although applications for compensation officially ended in 2005, late applications have been accepted ever since for what the board judges to be "exceptional circumstances".
However, One In Four called on the department to delay closing the board until abuse victims, many who emigrated once they left the institutions, had the opportunity to apply for compensation.
In the past five years hundreds of compensation awards, averaging more than €60,000, have been paid to victims.
Since its formation the Redress Board has paid out €832m to abuse victims.