Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection
Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board: Discussion with Chairman Designate
I wish Mr. O'Callaghan well in the task ahead of him. I pay my respects to and congratulate Ms Sylda Langford on the work she undertook and on which she succeeded in delivering. It is a pity that health issues determined that she could not continue with the work and, hopefully, she will be of assistance to Mr. O'Callaghan, having regard to the experience that she gained over the years. She has a wealth of information on which, hopefully, he will be able to draw.
I meet some of the victims who have survived institutional abuse who are often in distress even to this day. Some of them are living in local authority housing and some of them have mental health and physical health issues. Part of the remit for the fund is to provide assistance in terms of housing. If a person is living in the Dublin City Council area or other local authority areas, can the fund intervene and encourage the local authority to upgrade that person's premises in a speedier manner or can it fund the cost of an adaption if a council cannot do so? During recent years the local authorities have struggled to deal with applications for adaptions, which are often required by the elderly survivors of institutional abuse. That is one of the key areas where I have come across problems to date. Obviously, there are educational issues for the victims or their families with which the fund can assist. Mr. O'Callaghan might expand on the educational issues.