Threat to benefits of abuse victims

Hundreds of London-based victims of sexual
abuse in Irish care homes, formerly known as industrial schools,
fear that their social welfare payments will be cut when they
receive compensation.

Eight thousand former residents of schools,
orphanages and institutions – many now living in the UK – are
expected to seek compensation from the board for abuse dating back
for more than 30 years.

Irish government ministers have been asked to
make representations to their British counterparts. Legislation to
establish a compensation board for victims is currently going
through the Irish parliament. The Irish authorities have decided
not to take compensation awards into account when means-testing
welfare applicants but the UK is not expected to agree similar

A survey of a London-based group of industrial
school victims showed that 80 per cent depended on means-tested

Sally Mulready, secretary of the Federation of
Irish Societies in the UK, said abuse victims living in the UK,
“have special difficulties”. She added that “many describe
themselves as having ‘run away’ from Ireland”.

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