Northern Ireland

Abuse survivors press Stormont on compensation scheme

Margaret McGuckin
Image caption Margaret McGuckin said abuse victims are waiting for acknowledgement by the state

A redress scheme for victims of historical child abuse must be part of the new programme for government, abuse survivors will tell politicians later.

Survivors will gather at Stormont to reveal details of a compensation scheme that they want the incoming executive to adopt.

They will set out recommendations for out-of-court payments as an alternative to civil court proceedings.

The report will also recommend two categories of compensation.

These include a "common experience payment" for all former residents of homes where abuse was endemic, as well as compensation in individual cases.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Sir Anthony Hart, the chair of the HIA inquiry, has voiced support for financial compensation

Margaret McGuckin, of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA), said: "Abuse victims have waited their whole lives for an acknowledgement from the state for letting us down so badly when we were vulnerable kids.

"Part of that acknowledgement must be redress, to try to make up for what we suffered and what we lost."

Jon McCourt, of Survivors North West, said: "Today, victims come together to set out clearly the sort of redress scheme which we want to see put in place.

However, Mr McCourt said: "Nothing will really make up for the damage done to us when we were children - awful damage which has led to an early grave for too many of our fellow residents and friends."

Image caption The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry is taking place at Banbridge Courthouse

The Historic Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry is examining allegations of child abuse in children's homes and other residential institutions in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1995.

The HIA began its public evidence sessions at the former Banbridge Court House in January 2014.

It is scheduled to report to the Northern Ireland Executive in January 2017.

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