Update on Scottish Redress and immediate changes to the Advance Payment Scheme

Readers of this blog will be aware that the Scottish Government has committed to establishing a statutory redress scheme before the end of March 2021.

A pre-legislative public consultation on financial redress for historical child abuse in care opened on the 2 September 2019 and closed on the 25 November 2019.

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Irish High Court rules women at centre of adoption mix up can sue the adoption society

In October, 2019 the Irish High Court granted permission to Helen Maguire and Christine Skipsey to issue the proceedings against St Patrick’s Guild.

The two women intend to sue the Catholic adoption society over the mixing up of babies in the 1960s.

The approval of the court was required under the Companies Act as the company behind the adoption society, St Patrick’s Guild (Incorporated), is in voluntary liquidation.

The case is one of several due to be issued against the adoption society which operated at Temple Hill in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

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Scottish limitation litigation on the ‘fair hearing’ defence

The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland Act 2017 retrospectively abolished the three year ‘time bar’ rule for personal injury claims arising from childhood abuse in Scotland but retained defences in the Act on ‘fair hearing’ and on ‘substantial prejudice’.

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Irish Government to provide €5 million to fund support services for former residents of mother and baby homes

At a Cabinet Meeting just before Christmas, the Irish Minister for Health, Simon Harris outlined plans by the Irish Government to spend €5 million on expert advisors, counselling staff and an extensive research project to address the legacy of mother and baby homes and the effects of that legacy on an estimated 57,000 former residents.

The proposed funding breaks down as follows:

  • €1.4m to the Health Service Executive the Irish equivalent of the NHS for 25 additional counselling staff to support the psychological needs of former residents of the mother and baby homes;
  • €600,000 to fund the appointment of four expert advisors who will be tasked with creating a “bespoke” counselling and well-being service including computer costs and support staff.

The Health Research Board will also fund a dedicated research study aimed at improving the health and well-being of former residents of mother and baby homes, which is estimated to cost €1m.

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Check before you book

Booking a holiday and finding a place to stay can be difficult enough at the best of times. It’s not enough just to see if there is a gym, a swimming pool and good restaurants and other amenities but to also consider if the accommodation is a safe haven and not managed, run or staffed by inappropriate personnel.

An example of the risk can be seen from the recent conviction of an ex-Army intelligence officer and Manchester hotelier, for a second time for abusing children at his £2m B&B. Saleem targeted children after they checked into his hotel with their parents near Manchester Airport. He had been previously jailed in October 2018 after attacking two sisters aged four and eight. He has been jailed again after a nine year old girl made a complaint following his first sentence. Saleem said his conviction was ‘unjust and tyrannical’.

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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry publishes further findings

Today, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) published its third case study findings.

The latest findings follow evidence heard between October 2018 and February 2019 on residential care establishments run by three voluntary providers (Quarriers, Aberlour Child Care Trust and Barnardo’s). This covers the period between 1921 and 1991. A link to the findings is here.         .

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