L-R Jon McCourt, Rosetta Trust Chairman Gerry McCann. Patricia Lundy and Conor Ryan outside Westminster
A historical abuse survivor from Derry has thanked the Head of the Civil Service for bringing victims’ “long nightmare” to an end with the announcement of a timetable for compensation.
The Head of the Civil Service David Sterling has set out the timetable for the compensation of victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse.
Significant progress has been made and The Executive Office (TEO) is 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.
TEO will be working with victims and survivors providing support and guidance. Work will begin after Christmas with a view to opening the application process at the end of March 2020.
On behalf of Survivors (North West), Chairman Jon McCourt, expressed his gratitude to David Sterling and The Executive Office (TEO) for their efforts.
“It has been too long a road for many and has taken its toll. Many have not lived to see it. Finally this long nightmare is ending.
“This was only made possible by the commitment and dedication of all involved with, not least the Victims and Survivors of Historical Institutional Abuse who have supported their representatives in negotiations and discussions all the way through the process.
“There have been hard days and many false dawns, but at last the hard work has paid off. Thanks to each and every one of you.”
Following meetings with victims and survivors on December 17, David Sterling said: “I gave a commitment to victims and survivors that I would keep them updated on ongoing developments to implement the HIA legislation.
“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.
“We will also be working with victims and survivors to inform what support they may need to help them through the application process.
“This work will begin after Christmas with a view to opening the application process at the end of March 2020.
“The Redress Board panels will be available to sit from the end of April, with the first approved payments to follow shortly thereafter.”
Outlining other significant developments to expedite the redress process, Mr Sterling said: “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.
“This is an important milestone, as the Commissioner’s Office will have a key role in supporting those wishing to apply for compensation.
“January will also see the announcement of the first multi-disciplinary members of the Redress Board and the launch of a competition to recruit for additional panels."
Mr Sterling concluded: “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.”
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