Written answers

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Department of Justice and Equality

Magdalen Laundries

Photo of Maureen O'SullivanMaureen O'Sullivan (Dublin Central, Independent)
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805. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will clarify figures as presented in Dáil Éireann in 2013 to be paid to the Magdalen fund which range between €34.5 million to €58 million; the reason the figure set aside to pay for the ex gratia scheme has fallen to €23 million, in view a person (details supplied) confirming that the number of applicants, 724 to date, is broadly in line with expectations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14144/14]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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The overall total estimated cost associated with the establishment of the Restorative Justice Scheme is €34.5m to €58m based on an estimate of 555 to 1000 applicants applying to the scheme. It includes the cost of the lump sum payments, the weekly State payments, the Medical Card, the establishment of a Dedicated Unit to administer the scheme, payment to the Irish Women Survivors Support Network (IWSSN) and provision of legal advice.

In the current year, the cost of the scheme as regards the Justice Vote is expected to be in the region of €23m. This takes account of the lump sum payments, weekly instalment payments for those in receipt of a lump sum in excess of €50,000, payments to solicitors who advise applicants before signing the waiver and staff administration staff costs. It does not include payments to be made in 2015 and subsequent years nor does it include payments under the Scheme that will fall to other Votes such as pensions and medical costs.

Photo of Maureen O'SullivanMaureen O'Sullivan (Dublin Central, Independent)
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806. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of the 224 applicants for whom payments have been issued who are resident with and-or are in the care of the religious congregations that formerly operated the Magdalene laundries in view of the fact that religious orders when explaining their decision not to make a financial contribution to the ex gratia scheme pointed out they were continuing to provide care for 130 such women; the number of these women who have received their lump sum payments; if these women have had an independent advocate appointed to monitor the survivors' engagement with the scheme; if individual bank accounts have been set up for these women, as mandated under the terms of the Quirke report; if he is satisfied that this population of survivors will have independent control of moneys received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14145/14]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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I can advise the Deputy that 251 applicants to the ex-gratia scheme have received their lump sum payment to date. Of that number, 24 reside with and are in the care of the religious congregations who formerly operated the Magdalen Laundries.

It has been the case with all payments to date, that payments only issue to a Bank account in the sole name of the applicant. Where there are capacity issues with an applicant who is not a Ward of Court, or does not have a person appointed under a valid registered enduring Power of Attorney, payment will be delayed until a specified person has been legally appointed to act on her behalf.

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