Revised Ex Gratia Scheme for Victims of Sexual Abuse at Day Schools
The government has announced the details of a revised ex gratia scheme that would provide compensation of up to €84,000 to victims of child sexual abuse in day schools.
About the Scheme
On the 21st of July 2021, the Government announced its decision to provide ex-gratia payments to those who experience sexual abuse as a pupil in a recognised day school prior to the issuing of the Guidelines for Procedures for Dealing with Allegations or Suspicions of Child Abuse and who had issued legal proceedings against the State in this regard. The Scheme was established to implement the European Court of Human Rights judgment in O’Keeffe v. Ireland (35810/09)
How we can help?
Coleman Legal LLP are currently assisting many victims with the application process. Should you need advice in relation to the scheme contact Philip Treacy or complete the request a callback form to get a callback from our team.
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Ex gratia scheme closure date for childhood abuse in schools is 20th July, 2023
The State revised Ex-gratia scheme, established to implement the European Court of Human Rights judgment in the case of O’Keeffe v Ireland, will be closing on July 20, 2023.
The scheme, aimed at providing redress for childhood sexual abuse in day schools, reopened in July, 2021, for new applications. It entails making ex gratia payments to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Scheme’s Terms of Reference. It is worth noting that those who had previously engaged solicitors may be eligible for the scheme. Specifically, the scheme applies to individuals who had initiated legal proceedings but discontinued them following the judgments of the High Court [2006 IEHC 13] and the Supreme Court [2008 IESC 72] in the O’Keeffe case. These individuals must also be unable to recommence their litigation in domestic courts.
Eligibility for the scheme
To be eligible for the scheme, an individual must meet the following criteria:
- Legal proceedings against the State, seeking damages for childhood sexual abuse in a recognized day school, must have been initiated by July 1, 2021.
- The proceedings mentioned above must pertain to abuse that occurred before November 1991 in the case of primary schools or before June 1992 in the case of post-primary schools.
- The individual must demonstrate that if the Guidelines for Procedures for Dealing with Allegations or Suspicions of Child Abuse had been in place when the sexual abuse occurred, there would have been a genuine possibility of altering the outcome or reducing the harm suffered.
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Who can apply?
They must have issued legal proceedings against the State by 1 July 2021 seeking damages for childhood sexual abuse in a recognised day school and as part of their application, must be able to demonstrate that they:
• Have been sexually abused while a pupil at a recognised day school with this abuse occurring before November 1991 in respect of a primary school or before June 1992 in respect of a post primary school and
• That, had the Department of Education’s Guidelines for Procedures for Dealing with Allegations or Suspicions of Child Abuse (November 1991/June 1992) been in place at the time the sexual abuse occurred, there would have been a real prospect of altering the outcome or mitigating the harm suffered as a result
How do I apply?
An application for payment under the scheme must include a completed application form.
Coleman Legal LLP and its team will assist you with completing the application form and will apply on your behalf. If you have any direct queries about the application process for the scheme, you may contact the Department of Education at 09064-83625 or email [email protected] . Philip Treacy and his team at Coleman Legal LLP are fully informed and would happily answer any queries you may have. Applications to the Scheme will be assessed by the State Claims Agency, which will administer the scheme on behalf of the State.
How much compensation will I receive?
Applying for the scheme allows for awards of up to €84,000, and the application deadline is 20 July 2023. Please visit the official gov.ie for further information.
Do I need a Solicitor?
Coleman Legal LLP is currently assisting many victims with the application process. Should you need advice regarding the scheme, contact Philip Treacy or complete the request a call back form to get a call back from our team.
Do I need to pay any fees?
An applicant may wish to consult with a solicitor and take legal advice and assistance in applying for the scheme. Where legal advice or other service is sought concerning the application (including the drafting and swearing of an affidavit, statutory declaration, or statement of truth), legal fees will be paid by the scheme over and above the ex-gratia payment. In addition, the Scheme Administrator will determine if an applicant is entitled to a payment of certain costs arising from work that was strictly necessary to prepare and submit an application to the scheme. The amount paid will be decided individually and is intended to cover all costs and outlays incurred in making the application, including any appeal. Please get in touch with Philip Treacy and his team at Coleman Legal LLP to discuss any queries concerning fees.