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Newsletter December 2008
Tuesday, 23rd December 2008

This is the 16th in a series of newsletters which the Board has decided to produce to keep applicants informed from time to time as to the procedures it follows and other developments. The Board's Guide to Hearing Procedures issued in April 2003 and in December of 2005 the Board issued the third edition of the guide.

Applications

The final date for receipt of applications has now passed and the Board has received a total of 14,594 applications.

The Board notifies applicants once it has received all necessary documentation in relation to their case. These notifications, known as completion letters, issue at a rate commensurate with the Board's ability to finalise applications and therefore do not always issue immediately after the Board has complied with its obligations in relation to the notification of relevant persons as outlined in the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2002. The Board is conscious that, given the disproportionately large number of applications lodged immediately before the statutory deadline of December 15th 2005 (3,700 applications were lodged in the first two weeks of December 2005 compared with 104 for the same period in 2004) there will be a considerable time lapse before these applications can be finalised.

Applications Received after 15th December 2005

Pursuant to the provisions of section 8(2) and 8(3) of the 2002 Act the Board may, at its discretion and where it considers there are exceptional circumstances, extend the period for receipt of applications. Any applicant wishing to lodge an application after December 15th 2005 is asked to explain in writing to the Board why the application was not lodged in time. The Board considers each such submission individually. By the 22nd December 2008 the Board had received 349 such submissions which were dealt with as follows;


81 submissions were accepted by the Board
171 submissions were disallowed by the Board
4 submissions were withdrawn
9 applications were invalid
In 77 cases the Board is awaiting further information from the applicant
7 submissions remain to be considered by the Board

 

Awards

To date the Board has completed the process in 12,482 cases. 9,325 offers have been made following settlement talks and 2,465 awards have been made following hearings. 6 applicants have rejected their awards. 692 applications were withdrawn, refused or resulted in no award. By and large applications have been refused as, on the face of the documentation, the application was outside the Board's terms of reference as laid down in the 2002 Act. In other words, the applications did not relate to residential institutions as defined in the Act. These applications are determined by the Board immediately on receipt so that the applicant is informed at the earliest possible date that his/her application is outside the ambit of the redress scheme.

The average value of awards to date is €64,230, the largest award being €300,000.

Redress Board Bands

The breakdown of awards by Redress Band is as follows:

 

Redress Bands

Total Weightings for Severity of Abuse and Injury/Effects of Abuse

Award Payable by way of Redress

Number

Percentage

V

70 or more

€200,000 - €300,000

27

0.23%

IV

55 to 69

€150,000 - €200,000

191

1.62%

III

40 to 54

€100,000 - €150,000

1,624

13.77%

II

25 to 39

€50,000 - €100,000

5,979

50.71%

I

Less than 25

Up to €50,000

3,969

33.66%

Total

 

 

11,790

100%

 


Sittings

The Board sits every day in its premises in Clonskeagh and continues to complete approximately 220 cases per month. It has also sat in Galway and Limerick. The Board sits for approximately one week per month in Cork and will continue to do so as long as there are sufficient applications from the region.

Legal Costs

To date the Board has paid legal costs to 774 firms of solicitors in respect of 10,250 applications. A total of €129 million has been paid, of which €10.6 million was paid in respect of associated High Court proceedings in accordance with section 27(2) of the Redress Act.

Statement

The Board notes that, in commenting on certain procedures, sections of the media have inaccurately represented the Board's practices. The Board welcomes scrutiny of its actions but reminds those involved of their duty to ensure that such scrutiny accurately represents the Board's procedures. These procedures are outlined in detail on this website or will be posted on request.

Christmas Opening Hours

The Board's offices will close on Christmas Eve and will re-open on Tuesday 30th December 2008.

The Board and staff would like to take this opportunity to wish all applicants a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. A special note of thanks is extended to all those who contributed to the establishment of the Board and who continue to help us in our attempt to provide the best possible service to all applicants.

 

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