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Fund to support services for abuse survivors on way

Work on drafting the bill to allow for the establishment of a Statutory Fund is at an “advanced stage”.

Images from a 2010 protest
Images from a 2010 protest
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE BILL NECESSARY to allow for the establishment of a Statutory Fund for survivors of institutional abuse will be published within weeks.

Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn said the drafting of the legislation is at an “advanced stage”.

“I hope to be in a position to publish the Bill in the coming weeks,” he said in an answer to a parliamentary question posed by Deputy Sandra McLellan.

Quinn said that he was aware that some affected residents wanted a more simple distribution of the money available. Arguing the case for a Statutory Fund, the minister said it will be better able to target resources at specific services to support survivors’ needs.

The scheme will approve and provide for counselling, psychological support and mental health services, as well as health, social, educational and housing services.

The Residential Institutions Statutory Fund will offer thousands of former residents of Irish institutions the chance to apply for funding for these services.

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The Government has been involved in intensive consultation processes with survivors prior to the drafting of proposals.

The €110 million in funding has been garnered from contributions – in the form of both cash and land/property – made by religious congregations.

The Catholic orders in charge of the institutions in question were asked by the State to contribute to the fund following the Ryan Report.

Read: Clerical abuse in Ireland tantamount to torture: report>

Column: ‘We branded people lunatics and locked them away’>

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