Fianna Fáil Education spokesperson Charlie McConalogue has said he’s disappointed with the compensation package offered by the Government to victims of child sexual abuse. Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan announced a cap of €84,000 as well as a range of conditions, which will exempt some victims from applying for the compensation measures.

Deputy McConalogue commented, “While I welcome the fact that the Government has decided to move on the issue of compensation for children who were abused in schools, the measures announced fall far short of what is acceptable. These are people who were abused as children by members of society that they were told to trust, in a setting where they should have felt safe and protected. The abuse that was perpetrated against these children was a gross violation of their rights and an utter betrayal by those responsible.

“The package announced by the Government does not go far enough, and will in no way address the hurt, distress and anxiety that the victims have been subjected to. The cap of €84,000 is too low and must be reconsidered. I am also concerned that the conditions attached to the applications exclude victims who were abused in a school before their abuser came to the attention of authorities.

“The decision by the Government to discriminate against these victims achieves nothing and will drive a wedge between the survivors by denying them the closure and recognition they should be entitled to. These victims should not be ignored.

“I am urging Minister O’Sullivan to immediately review the compensation package on offer. She should examine the approach that was taken with victims of institutional abuse to ensure that all child abuse victims receive the justice and closure they deserve”.