Wednesday, 13 March 2013 08:38

Compensation for Magdalene laundry survivors?

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The government is considering what sort of redress scheme will be put in place for Magdalene laundry survivors.

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch said the Government would appoint someone with whom victims could interact and who would assess survivors’ needs on an individual basis. This system would be different to what is proposed by the advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), who is proposing that any woman who spent time in a laundry would automatically pass a minimum threshold of demonstrated abuse, entitling her to a sum of €100,000. The group is also seeking a pension scheme for survivors.

If someone was to proceed on this basis, it is expected that person will be unable to bring a claim to the courts if they reach a settlement.

The government could establish a redress scheme similar to the Residential Institutions Redress board. The Redress Board was set up under the Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002 to make fair and reasonable awards to persons who, as children, were abused while resident in industrial schools, reformatories and other institutions subject to state regulation or inspection.

David Walley + Co have successfully represented clients in making applications to the Residential Institutions Redress board*. If you are a survivor of the Magdalene laundries, we would be delighted to speak with you and advise you of your rights.

*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

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