Thursday, 12 May 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): In the period from 2003 to 2008 Justice for the Forgotten received total funding of over €1.2 million through the Remembrance Commission, which was financed by my Department. Given the severe financial restraints under which my Department, in common with other Government Departments, must operate, there is unfortunately no further funding available to me to direct to Justice for the Forgotten.
As the Deputy will be aware, from 2003-2008 the Remembrance Commission operated a Scheme of Acknowledgement, Remembrance and Assistance for Victims in this Jurisdiction of the Conflict in Northern Ireland. Under the Scheme, payments could be made to individuals under various categories such as acknowledgement payments, economic hardship payments and medical expenses payments. The Scheme also contained a provision to enable payments to be paid to groups offering support services to victims of the conflict. Under this element of the Scheme payments were made to Justice for the Forgotten for the purpose of meeting the counselling and other needs of victims or their family members. During the period of operation of the Scheme Justice for the Forgotten received €1.2m of the €1.5m allocated for victim support services and was the only recipient of money under this heading. In addition the organisation had received over €890,000 from the Department of the Taoiseach in the period 2000-2003.
The term of appointment of the Remembrance Commission came to an end on 31 October 2008 and funding under the Scheme ended at that stage. Nevertheless, a decision was taken at that time to grant further funding to Justice for the Forgotten totalling €190,300 to enable it to continue to operate while seeking to put alternative funding options in place. I understand that Justice for the Forgotten has been integrated into the Pat Finucane Centre and is still in operation. I can assure the Deputy that those victims who require ongoing medical treatment for injuries sustained in bombings and other incidents arising from the conflict in Northern Ireland will continue to be provided for by my Department, through the Victims of Crime Office.
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