SURVIVORS of institutional abuse are calling for the reopening of The Redress Board and for more transparency on plans for a €110 million trust fund. The Right of Place/Second Chance Group believes that many people were not ready to come forward to the Board and apply for compensation while it was open, but they may now want to do so. In its recently published annual report, the group also called on the government to publish plans for the trust fund contributed to by 18 religious congregations. Right of Place/Second Chance Outreach Co-ordinator for HSE West, Val Groarke, said the group is worried that the government are dragging their feet in coming up with criteria for recipients of the fund.
He urged the government to supplement the fund on an annual basis to allow survivors who have not yet come forward, to access it.
“I believe that there are a lot of people out there who didn’t get the redress,” Mr. Groarke told the Limerick Post.
“Because the government had it shut down, we’re pushing for them to reopen it and leave it open for another few years.
“Just because some of us were ready, it doesn’t mean that everyone was”.
He said that while some survivors of institutional abuse in Limerick may have received compensation from the Redress Board, the damage inflicted continues to resonate.
Mr. Groarke also called for the children of survivors to be able to access the Trust fund, explaining that what happened to survivors also affected the quality of lives of their families.
The Galway/Limerick and western offices of the support group were contacted by clients 693 times from March 2011 to February 2012, and in one-fifth of these incidents, approaches were made by the dependent of a survivor.
“Money doesn’t give you back what you lost, like an education,” Mr. Groarke continued.
“A huge amount of our people have not worked for most of their lives and a lot would have got ‘low class’ jobs.
“A lot of survivors wouldn’t be able to read or write”.
Right of Place offers outreach and support to survivors in education, health, housing, employment, welfare, social issues and much more.
“If they have a problem we want them to know that there is a service here. They can just lift the phone”.
The Right of Place Limerick office is based in the Friends of the Elderly premises Carey’s Road, and is open to anyone who wishes to avail of its support.
Meetings are held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and are open to all to call in for a cup of tea and a chat.