How do I Apply?
To apply for redress you must complete an official application form which is designed to give the Board as much as possible of the information it requires to deal with your application. Please note there are two different types of application form. For more information, please click below.
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You may, of course, ask a solicitor to help you to make an application, and the Board will pay the solicitor’s reasonable costs and expenses. But you may instead get help from a survivors’ group, a member of your family or a friend. Or you may simply apply to the Board in person.
Where a person who may be entitled to redress is under the age of 18 or unable to manage his or her own affairs, the application may be made by a relative or other person on his or her behalf.
Where a person who may be entitled to redress has died since 11 May 1999, the application may be made by his or her spouse or children.
When the Board receives your application, it will obtain any further information necessary for making its decision in your case. In particular, the Board will wish to be satisfied that it has all the relevant medical evidence relating to your injuries.
The Board is also required by the Act to ask (a) any person named in your application as responsible for abuse which you suffered, and (b) the representative of the institution in which the abuse took place, to provide the Board with evidence appropriate to your application. For this purpose, they will be given a copy of your application and may be given such further information regarding your application as the Board considers appropriate.
When it has obtained all the evidence which it requires, the Board will deal with your application as follows.
Where the Board is satisfied that you are entitled to redress, it may make an offer in settlement of your application, which you are free to accept or reject. If you accept the settlement offer, no further proceedings are necessary. If you reject the settlement offer, your application will proceed to a hearing by the Board.
Hearing by the Board
If it is not possible to deal with your application by way of a settlement, the Board will allocate a date for the hearing of your application. This hearing, which will be as informal as possible, will be conducted by a panel consisting of two or three members of the Board. The hearing will enable you or the Board to call witnesses to give oral evidence and to question other witnesses.
Any person named in your application as responsible for the abuse which you suffered, and the representative of the institution in which the abuse took place, may also take part in the hearing.
Hearings will normally be held in Dublin, but arrangements will also be made for hearings in other cities in Ireland. Where an applicant lives outside the State, the Board may make arrangements for the taking of evidence on commission.
All hearings are in private and are not open to the public or to the media. In exceptional circumstances, the Board may at your request allow a close relative or other appropriate person to be present at the hearing of your application.
The Board may make an interim award and a final award of redress.
Where the Board has made a preliminary decision that you are entitled to an award and, having regard to your age and infirmity, considers it appropriate, it may pay you an interim award of not more than €10,000. This interim award will be deducted from your final award.
The final award made by the Board, which will be a fair and reasonable sum having regard to your unique circumstances, will be assessed under the following four headings.
1. The severity of the abuse and injury
On the basis of the medical and other evidence available to it, the Board will assess your redress award with reference to the severity of (1) the abuse which you suffered, (2) your physical and mental injuries, (3) the emotional and social effects of your injuries, and (4) your loss of employment and other opportunities.
Please note that no redress is payable for loss of earnings as such, and the Board will not take into account any actuarial material presented on your behalf.
2. Additional redress
In exceptional cases, the Board may make an additional award not exceeding 20% of the normal redress award where it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so.
3. Medical expenses
The Board may make an award for reasonable expenses incurred in respect of past, present or future medical or psychiatric treatment for the effects of the injuries which you have suffered as a result of the abuse.
4. Other costs and expenses
The Board may also make an award for any other costs and expenses which you have reasonably incurred in making your application for redress. This includes the reasonable costs of legal representation for the making of your application.
Redress awards will normally be paid in one lump sum, by means of a cheque or by payment into a bank or building society account. The Board in appropriate cases may pay an award by instalments or in accordance with the terms of a trust or other arrangement made on behalf of the applicant.
A person not satisfied with an award made by the Board following a hearing may apply to the Residential Institutions Redress Review Committee for a review of the Board's award. The Review Committee may uphold the Board’s award, or increase or decrease the amount of the award.
If you accept the award made by the Board, or by the Review Committee on review, you must agree in writing to give up any right you may have to bring a claim for damages in the courts in respect of the abuse and injuries covered by the award. You will be given one month in which to decide if this is what you wish to do.
If you decide NOT to accept the
award made by the Board, or by the Review Committee
on appeal, any right you may have to bring a claim for
damages in the courts is not affected in any way. But
you cannot come back to the Board a second time if you
find out later that the damages to which you are entitled
from court proceedings are lower than the award of redress
made by the Board or by the Review Committee.