Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran has said it is very clearly evident that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal is failing to fulfil its intended role in assisting those that have suffered personal injuries which were criminally inflicted.
The Deputy received information through a Parliamentary Question this week that reveals only 18 claims were settled in compensation last year. This is the lowest number of resolved cases recorded since the scheme began.
Curran said, “The lengthy delays in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, which is intended to assist victims of crime in this country, are causing immense stress for injured and very vulnerable victims and their families.
“The Tribunal’s limited resources and economic constraints are slowing down the process of claims and subsequently victims obtaining their due compensation in a prompt manner and in accordance with constitutional justice.
“It’s most frustrating that the Minister is unable to determine precisely how many victims are still waiting for a pay-out in compensation in order to get back to living their lives. Some of these people will have suffered life-altering injury as a result of criminality.
“It now transpires that due to the manner in which cases are recorded there is no way of accurately determining the number of active cases not settled by the Tribunal. This is unacceptable. Given that the last response I received from the Minister in September indicated that 150 claims were outstanding since the year previous, this is likely to now be an even greater number of applications yet to be dealt with.
“The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal is very clearly not operating as it had been intended it would and is certainly not assisting any meaningful number of vulnerable victims.
“The number of unsettled claims is going to continue to rise without intervention by the Minister; he needs to get to it.”