Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Victim Support Services
364. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if there are plans to introduce a pension payment for the victims and survivors of terrorist activity related to the era of the Troubles between 1966 and 2010 for persons injured in this State similar to the payments scheme introduced in Northern Ireland and Britain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62788/21]
The Government has always sought to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and expectations of victims’ families and survivors of Troubles-related attacks in this jurisdiction. We are deeply conscious of the enduring suffering and hardship that survivors of Troubles-related violence bear, both North and South, and indeed in Britain and Europe.
The Government established a Remembrance Commission in 2003, to administer a Scheme of Assistance and remembrance for victims of the Northern Ireland conflict, and their families, in this jurisdiction. The Commission continued this work until 2008. In administering the scheme, the Remembrance Commission, which operated independently of Government, funded Acknowledgement payments, Economic Hardship payments, Displacement payments and Medical payments for victims’ families and those who were seriously injured in Troubles-related incidents in this jurisdiction.
Acknowledgement payments were paid to 309 applicants in respect of 109 victims killed in Troubles-related incidents in the South. Over the lifetime of the Commission from 2003 to 2008, €3.87 million in funding was made available to individual victims and survivors of the Troubles, resident in this jurisdiction to acknowledge their suffering, and to address economic hardship and certain medical expenses.
Funding for certain ongoing medical needs was also provided for those injured in Troubles-related attacks in this jurisdiction, and following the conclusion of the Commission, this continues to be provided through the Department of Justice and Equality.
The Minister for Justice has responsibility for victims’ issues and will certainly consider and respond to representations from people in the jurisdiction who want to raise views with her on this issue. It is essential that the voices of victims and survivors are heard, and the Government is committed to addressing the legacy of the past, taking into account the many ways that it impacts on our society as a whole and the path toward deeper reconciliation and peace.