From RTE News online
An organisation representing survivors of abuse in industrial and reformatory schools has demanded that interim payments be made to everyone who qualifies for compensation.
The call was made by former residents as they collected application forms from the Residential Institutions Redress Board on the first day of the scheme's operation.
More than 800 individuals, some from as far away as Australia and the United States, have already told the Board they want to apply, along with solicitors representing an unknown number.
Another advance in life-long struggle
On the first day of the compensation scheme's operation, representatives of four organisations arrived at the Dublin offices of the Redress Board to mark what all agreed was another advance in their life-long struggle for justice for children abused in residential institutions.
They were: Aisling, Right of Place, Survivors of Child Abuse, UK and Alliance Victim's Support Group.
They emphasised their concern for the 90 former residents who had died, some 20 by their own hand, in the three-and-a-half years since the Taoiseach apologised for society's failure to protect children in church-run and state-regulated institutions.
Living survivors and relatives of those deceased are entitled to apply for compensation, and the Board has said they will be assessed confidentially and informally.
Once the Board is satisfied the abuse took place, it will award a scale of payments rising to a maximum of €360,000, depending on the severity of the physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect one suffered and the seriousness of its after-effects.
All the organisations which attended at the Board's offices today advised that applicants should ask a solicitor to help them.
The Residential Institutions Redress Board's freephone number is: 1800 200 086
Group demands interim payment
The Right of Place group continued to demand that all who are deemed to merit compensation should qualify for an interim payment instead of the elderly and infirm, whom the Redress law has said may get one.
The Department of Education has denied the group's claim that they were promised this by a senior civil servant last February.
Informed sources have said that as many as 8,000 may avail of the new confidential scheme, which is estimated could cost about €400m. Catholic religious orders have agreed to pay a third of this.
Reports from the US say that the Roman Catholic church in Boston is considering the unprecedented step of filing for bankruptcy protection because of damages it is having to pay people who were sexually abused by its clergy.
The reports are published in the Boston Globe newspaper, quoting senior church sources.