Former High Court Judge Maureen Harding Clark has been appointed as an independent assessor to oversee the implementation of the new Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme Scheme, for which €34 million has set aside.
The women who apply and go through the process will receive awards at three levels - €50,000, €100,000 and €150,000.
However the new scheme has not been embraced by all. Survivors of Symphysiotomy castigated the terms and conditions of the scheme earlier this week
“‘This redress scheme fall desperately short of what our members have looked for as a fair settlement in resolutions adopted at EGMs and in meetings and correspondence with Ministers,” said Marie O’Connor, Chairperson of Survivors of Symphysiotomy. “The scheme should be open-ended: it expires in 20 days.”
“The unprecedented time limits imposed by the Government are a blatant attempt to dragoon women into the scheme before the test cases are heard, thus denying them the possibility of making an informed choice between legal action and State “redress.”
Speaking about the scheme, Senator Mary Moran said: Time is not on the side of these women, many of whom are now in their seventies, eighties and in some cases in their nineties. I have continually reiterated the importance of dealing with this scheme as a matter of urgency in light of the fact that many of the survivors are elderly and suffering from ill health. The women I have spoken with agree that this is the acknowledgement they have waited for.
“For many of the women while financial payment is welcome, it is the acknowledgement by the Government that what happened to them was wrong that matters most.”
Sinn Fein TD Gerry Adams said “While some survivors will welcome the terms of the Redress Scheme, there are others who reject it.
“Whatever decision each survivor takes, Sinn Féin will support them. The women themselves must decide their own response depending on the circumstances of their own lives.”
Labour TD Ged Nash said that the scheme is designed to minimise the stress for all the women concerned.
The scheme is now open for applications until Friday December 5. Applications should be posted to the “The Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme P.O. Box 12487, Dublin 1
For more details : www.payment-scheme.gov.ie or by ringing any of the following numbers 01 -6778553, 01 -6778554, 01 -6778555.