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Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 35. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the progress made [304]to date in addressing the concerns of a group (details supplied) in the preparation of legislation to establish the statutory fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2936/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Work on the drafting of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Bill is at an advanced stage and I hope to be in a position to publish the Bill in the coming weeks. When the Bill is published I will arrange for copies to be provided to the various survivor groups and I will of course be happy to receive any comments from former residents and anyone else in relation to its contents.

In that regard I had a very constructive meeting with groups representing survivors of residential institutional abuse on 22nd July last, when we discussed the Government’s approach to the proposed Statutory Fund to support the needs of victims of residential institutional abuse. Attendees at that meeting raised a number of issues regarding aspects of the proposed approach as set out in the General Scheme of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Bill. I have also received a number of submissions in relation to particular aspects of the proposed legislation, which are being considered as the drafting process continues.

The Government’s legislative proposals in relation to the Statutory Fund followed extensive consultations with survivors of residential abuse and the groups which support them, together with a public consultation process. In this context, the report on the consultation process and the General Scheme of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Bill were published on my Department’s website.

I acknowledge that some former residents advocated a simple distribution of the available money rather than the establishment of the Statutory Fund. However, as I outlined when I published the legislative proposals, I believe that the Fund should target resources at services to support former residents’ needs. The General Scheme provides for approved services to include, counselling, psychological support services and mental health services together with such health and personal social services, educational services and housing services as the Fund may determine. Further services can be prescribed as appropriate.

Questions Nos. 36 and 37 answered with Question No. 26.

Question No. 38 answered with Question No. 34.

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