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Review of process for historic abuse victim payouts is welcomed


Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill. (Kelvin Boyes/PA)

Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill. (Kelvin Boyes/PA)

Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill. (Kelvin Boyes/PA)

A review of the redress process for survivors of historic institutional abuse has been welcomed.

Since the fund was opened last year compensation of £20m has been paid out.

The scheme was recommended by Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, which investigated allegations of child abuse at 22 residential institutions run by religious, charitable and state organisations here over a 73-year period.

Yesterday MLAs were told the application process has been "retraumatising" for victims. In order to address this issue, First Minister Paul Givan and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill announced a review of the "client journey" for redress.

"I have listened carefully to the views and experiences of victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse around engagement with the current redress process," Mr Givan said.

"A full and broad review will now be undertaken to ensure that the needs of victims and survivors are at the heart of all aspects and stages of the process."

Mrs O'Neill added: "After years of their voices being suppressed or ignored, it is incumbent on us to do everything possible to make sure that never happens again. We have listened to their experiences and are committed to making improvements to the redress process through this review.

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"However, we do not need to wait for the outcome of the review and should move ahead with any positive changes to the scheme as soon as they can be implemented; indeed, I welcome that improvements have already been made.”

Fiona Ryan, NI Commissioner for Survivors of Historical Institutional Childhood Abuse, said the establishment of the redress board for victims and survivors was a "major achievement", although there have been issues.

"Some victims and survivors, both individuals and group representatives, have voiced their dissatisfaction with the redress process, and I want to acknowledge and thank them for sharing their experience of redress with the Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse Office, the Executive Office and the redress board and in progressing these developments to the benefit of the wider community of victims and survivors," she said.

"My view has been that victims and survivors' experience is core to the redress process and if they are telling us that this process is unsatisfactory then we need to listen and seek ways of incorporating their views and experiences so that the process addresses their concerns.”

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