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New Redress Scheme Launched
Friday, 29th November 2002

Many of those who, as children, were sexually or physically abused will benefit from a new compensation scheme which is in effect from Monday, 2nd December, 2002. The scheme applies to those who were abused while resident in an industrial school, a reformatory or similar institutions at any time from the foundation of the State to the present day.


The scheme is administered by the Residential Institutions Redress Board, which was set up by the Oireachtas earlier this year.


Judge Kieran O'Connor, Chairperson of the Redress Board, said:
'This new scheme is designed to provide an informal method of obtaining compensation for injury suffered by those who were abused while in a residential institution. As well as covering sexual and physical abuse, it will also provide compensation for emotional abuse and for neglect. The compensation will be assessed on the basis of a scheme worked out by a special committee of experts chaired by Sean Ryan SC, which reported to the Minister for Education and Science earlier this year. The scheme also provides for payment of the legal costs of those claiming the compensation. All the proceedings of the Board will be in the strictest confidence.'


The object of the scheme is to make a fair and just award of compensation based on an assessment of the particular circumstances of each applicant. It does not require a person to give up his or her legal rights in the first instance. But if a person accepts an award from the Board, he or she will be required at that stage to give up certain rights to bring proceedings in the civil courts.


The Board, which is expected to sit for a number of years, has its headquarters in Dublin. Anyone who thinks that he or she may be entitled to compensation under this scheme should contact, or have their solicitor contact, the Board either by writing, in confidence, to The Secretary, Residential Institutions Redress Board, Belfield Office Park, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4, by phone at 01 268 0029, by Freephone 1800 200 086 or by visiting the Board's website at www.rirb.ie

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