Northern Ireland

Child abuse survivors call for £20m in compensation for victims

Margaret mcGuckin
Image caption The proposed package includes a £10,000 payment to each of the 524 victims who came forward to the inquiry

Survivors of historic child abuse are calling for a £20m compensation scheme to be set up for victims.

The proposed package includes a £10,000 payment to each of the 524 victims who came forward to the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA).

Some have claimed the payment could save the public purse millions, as opposed to going through the courts.

Details of the scheme were outlined on Monday by the Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse group (SAVIA).

'Remorse'

Speaking outside Stormont, Margaret McGuckin, from SAVIA, pleaded with the government to take the report, which sets out recommendations for out-of-court payments as an alternative to civil court proceedings, seriously.

"Too much damage has been done, too many mental health problems have been caused and, better still, too many survivors are no longer around to see justice being done," she said.

"It's time to let these people have some sort of a life.

"We need our government to show some remorse and some genuine faith in victims," Mrs McGuckin added.

Allegations

She said the money should be "ring-fenced" from somewhere to be given to victims by January 2017.

The HIA inquiry is examining allegations of child abuse in children's homes and other residential institutions in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1995.

It began its public evidence sessions at the former Banbridge Court House in January 2014 and is due to report to the Northern Ireland Executive in January 2017.