The Tanaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr Michael McDowell, T.D., today announced Government approval for his proposal to extend the term of the Remembrance Commission for a further year until 31 October 2007. The Tanaiste has also secured a budget of 2 million Euro for the Commission in 2007.

The Remembrance Commission was established by the Government in October, 2003 to provide financial assistance from the Remembrance Fund to victims in this jurisdiction of the conflict in Northern Ireland, under the terms of the Scheme of Acknowledgement, Remembrance and Assistance. The Commission and Scheme were established for three years and were due to come to an end in October 2006.

As the Tanaiste was of the view that the Commission's task was not yet complete and still had a valuable contribution to make, he sought Government approval to extend the term of the Commission and the Scheme for a further year, during which consideration would also be given to its longer term future and how outstanding tasks would be met.

Announcing the extension of the Remembrance Commission and Scheme the Tanaiste said: "The Commission have informed me that they embarked on a radio advertising campaign earlier this year to make information on the Scheme more widely available. As a result over seventy new applications were received. While decisions have been made on most of these, there are a number which require further detailed consideration. In addition, the Commission has advised me that applications have been made for assistance to erect memorials to commemorate victims, but that it would not be possible to make decisions on the applications during the Commission's original term.

I believe that there are a number of victims who have yet to make applications for assistance under the Scheme of Acknowledgement, Remembrance and Assistance for Victims in this Jurisdiction of the Conflict in Northern Ireland. I am also mindful that there are applicants who will require ongoing medical assistance to deal with injuries they received in an incident related to the conflict.

As a result of these considerations, I decided to seek Government approval for the extension of the terms of the Commission and Scheme."

To date almost 5.2m euro has been disbursed by the Commission.

27 December 2006


Note for Editors

The Remembrance Commission was appointed in October, 2003 by Mr Michael McDowell TD, Tanaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, following a recommendation of the Victims Commission, which was established following the Good Friday Agreement to conduct a review of the services and arrangements in place in this jurisdiction to meet the needs of those who suffered as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The members of the Remembrance Commission are:

David Andrews SC, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the Irish Red Cross (Chair);

Conor Brady, journalist and former editor of the Irish Times;

Pat Hume, member of the Board of the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund;

Paddy Mullarkey, former Secretary General of the Department of Finance;

Caitriona Murphy, Chair of Investor Compensation Company Ltd and former Chair of the Labour Relations Commission

 

The Remembrance Commission is responsible for the administration of the Remembrance Fund under the terms of the Scheme of Acknowledgement, Remembrance and Assistance for Victims in this Jurisdiction of the Conflict in Northern Ireland.

 

The Scheme has four categories of payments:

 

Acknowledgement Payments

A payment of 15,000 euro is made where a person has been killed in a conflict related incident and where the deceased person had been normally resident in the State at the time the fatal injury occurred or had been fatally injured in the State.

 

Economic Hardship Payments to Dependent Spouse and Children

Subject to conditions, a payment of up to 15,000 euro can be paid to a dependant spouse and children of a person fatally injured as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland who was normally resident in the State at the time the fatal injury occurred or who was fatally injured in the State.

 

Incapacity to Work Payments

A payment of up to 15,000 euro may be made where a person has received an injury in a conflict related incident which has rendered him or her permanently incapable of working. To qualify the victim would need to have been normally resident in the State at the time the injury occurred or have been injured in the State.

In addition, if a person suffered injury in Northern Ireland but is now normally resident in the State and has so been for at least three years prior to their application they may qualify under the terms of the Scheme.

 

Displacement Payments

If a person, or their family, had to move from Northern Ireland to the State as a direct consequence of an incident related to the conflict and now wishes to return to Northern Ireland they may qualify for a payment of 15,000 euro.

If a person, or their family, had to move from the State as a direct consequence of the conflict in Northern Ireland and now wishes to return to the State, they may qualify for a payment of 7,500 euro.

 

Medical Payments

If a person is obtaining medical treatment for an injury received in a conflict related incident and they have vouched, ongoing and unmet expenses relating to that treatment they may apply to the Commission for re-imbursement of these costs. "Unmet" means that such costs are not being met by any other agency or private health insurer.

Medical payments can, at the discretion of the Commission, also include the provision of respite home help expenses, prosthesis or other such forms of assistance to injured persons as is deemed appropriate.

If a person has amassed debts in obtaining medical treatment prior to the establishment of the Scheme which in the opinion of the Commission they would have great difficulty in discharging they may make an application for assistance under the Scheme.

 

Funding of Victim Support Groups

Funding is available to groups for the provision of counselling services to victims of the conflict and to surviving family members.

 

Funding for Memorials

The Commission may provide assistance for memorials or other such forms of commemoration for victims of the Northern Ireland conflict.

 

For more information please contact the Remembrance Commission at
(01) 669 6862 or RemembranceCommission@Justice.ie