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Calls for redress for victims of IRA abuse

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is facing calls to establish a redress scheme which would be open to victims of IRA sex abuse.

The scheme should be set up in tandem with a cross border inquiry to investigate the alleged movement of sex abusers into the Republic, according to Labour Party senator Lorraine Higgins.

In a letter to Mr Kenny, Ms Higgins said such an inquiry must guarantee confidentiality for victims who may be fearful of coming forward with their abuse claims.

Ms Higgins, who is a qualified barrister, highlighted the cases of Mairia Cahill and Paudie McGahon, who were abused and then subject to 'kangaroo-court style' investigations.

"The redress scheme ought to be about more than money, and be flexible enough to give survivors the specific support they need, including in many cases ongoing support,"Ms Higgins wrote.

"By committing to my proposal this Government would send a very clear message.

"At the very least, we owe our children that degree of protection and certainly nothing less," she added.