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Survivors of abuse must be informed of Statutory Fund Bill – Crowe

28 June, 2012 - by Seán Crowe TD

The Sinn Féin education spokesperson Seán Crowe has expressed disappointment that a database of survivors who received compensation under the Redress Board cannot be used to provide information of the existence of the Residential Statutory Fund Bill.

Deputy Crowe was speaking after raising the matter with Minister Quinn during Dáil Questions on Thursday.

He said:

“When I spoke with the survivors of residential abuse, a common complaint was that their views and what they want from the redress process have been consistently ignored.

“Many feel they have been left side-lined from the process and unable to have serious input into how they are compensated.

“There have been serious difficulties in communicating to survivors their entitlements under the Redress Board, particularly for those people who live abroad and have little contact with Ireland.

“When I met recently with the Munster Survivors Support Services they made the very sensible suggestion that the Department’s database of survivors who had applied to the Redress Board be used as a way of directly communicating information relating to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund.

“This would open a direct line of communication between the Department and a significant percentage of people who suffered in Residential Institutions.

“The Minister stated this was not possible under the existing confidentiality arrangements and problems with sending unsolicited letters to survivors of abuse who applied for redress. Whilst understanding the legal issues involved, it is important every effort is made to inform people of the existence of the Statutory Fund and the services that it covers.”

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