Tuesday, 14 July 2020
Department of Education and Skills
595. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when a new redress scheme for victims of sexual abuse in primary schools will be established; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15257/20]
The Ex Gratia Scheme established in the wake of the ECtHR was set up to deal with a specific cohort – people who had discontinued proceedings in the domestic courts in the wake of a number of High Court judgments and the Supreme Court judgment in the LOK case.
The review is ongoing. The Department of Education is committed to reviewing the ex gratia scheme, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General.
The issues involved are highly sensitive and complex and require very careful deliberation before proposals can be finalised and brought to Government. It is important to have a more complete awareness of the extent of the problem, the number of people who could potentially be involved the legal implications of any course of action, and an accurate estimate of likely costs before introducing any modifications to the scheme.
The Department has been criticised for not taking due account of these matters when establishing the residential institutional redress scheme. For example, the original estimates for the Residential Institutions were based on estimates drawn from known cases of litigations. The estimated figure of some 2,000 case ended up with in excess of 16,000 cases.
It is expected the review will be concluded in the coming months.