Belfast Telegraph

Compensation payments to abuse victims next spring

Victims of abuse in homes run by the Catholic church and state organisations have been campaigning for compensation following a landmark report.

The HIA Inquiry was established in May 2012 to investigate allegations of abuse in 22 institutions, between 1922 to 1995 (Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press/PA)
The HIA Inquiry was established in May 2012 to investigate allegations of abuse in 22 institutions, between 1922 to 1995 (Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press/PA)

By Michael McHugh, PA

Compensation payments to victims of historical abuse in Northern Ireland will begin next spring, the head of the Civil Service said.

A Redress Board panel will be available to sit from the end of April, with the first sums for survivors to follow shortly afterwards.

Victims of physical, emotional and sexual wrongdoing in homes run by the Catholic church and state organisations have been campaigning for compensation following a landmark report.

Senior civil servant David Sterling said: “We have made significant progress over the last month in developing arrangements for redress payments and are now ready to engage with victims and survivors on the design of an application form that meets the needs of applicants and provides the information required for the Redress Board to carry out its role effectively.”

The necessary preparatory work to appoint a Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse (COSICA) has been undertaken and a competition for this position will be launched in January.

January will also see the announcement of the first members of the Redress Board and the launch of a competition to recruit for additional panels.

This is a complex process and getting to this point is the result of a huge effort on the part of many parties, who are all committed to ensuring victims and survivors get the redress they deserve Senior civil servant David Sterling

Mr Sterling said: “This is a complex process and getting to this point is the result of a huge effort on the part of many parties, who are all committed to ensuring victims and survivors get the redress they deserve.

“We will continue to do everything possible to support the Redress Board in this regard.”

The late Sir Anthony Hart recommended compensation be paid, following a lengthy public inquiry.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) was established in May 2012 to investigate allegations of abuse in 22 institutions, between 1922 to 1995.

Sir Anthony also recommended a memorial be built and a public apology made to abuse survivors.

He said a tax-free lump sum payment should be made to all survivors, with payments ranging from £7,500 to £100,000.

PA

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