Thursday, 20th December 2007
This is the 15th 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.
The final date for receipt of applications has now passed and the Board has received a total of 14,541 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 20th December 2007 the Board had received 253 such submissions which were dealt with as follows;
36 submissions were accepted by the Board
144 submissions were disallowed by the Board
3 submissions were withdrawn
In 65 cases the Board is awaiting further information from the applicant
5 submissions remain to be considered by the Board
To date the Board has completed the process in 9,896 cases. 7,372 offers have been made following settlement talks and 2,082 awards have been made following hearings. 5 applicants have rejected their awards. 442 applications were withdrawn, refused or resulted no award.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 €66,845, the largest award being €300,000.
Redress Board Bands
The breakdown of awards by Redress Band is as follows:
Total Weightings for Severity of Abuse and Injury/Effects of Abuse
Award Payable by way of Redress
70 or more
€200,000 - €300,000
55 – 69
€150,000 - €200,000
40 – 54
€100,000 - €150,000
25 – 39
€ 50,000 - €100,000
Less than 25
Up to €50,000
The Board sits every day in its premises in Clonskeagh and now completes 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.
To date the Board has paid legal costs to 645 firms of solicitors in respect of 7,706 applications. A total of €97 million has been paid, of which €9.3 million was paid in respect of associated High Court proceedings in accordance with section 27(2) of the Redress Act.
Christmas Opening Hours
The Board's offices will close on Christmas Eve and will re-open on Friday 28th December 2007.
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.