A group supporting victims of convicted sex offender Michael Shine is calling on the governemnt to intervene in a dispute over legal fees that has resulted in a delay of settlement payments for more than 100 survivors.
The former surgeon is due to be released from the Midlands Prison this week after serving 3 years of a 4 year sentence following his conviction for offences against young boys at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and two local clinics between 1971 and 1992.
CEO of Dignity4Patients, Adrienne Reilly said:
“Our thoughts today on his release are very much with the victims and survivors and their families.
“Michael Shine has served sentences for convictions relating to several awful sexual assaults involving a number of victims.
“While the sentence served has given limited solace to some, others are still waiting for some form of justice through further criminal or civil proceedings.
“Victims and survivors we support are suffering over 50 years later.
“Still waiting for an apology.
“Still waiting for some kind of acknowledgement to the despicable harms they have suffered, many as children.”
In light of this, Dignity4Patients victims and survivors are calling on the government to intervene and explain why the HSE and Medical Missionary of Mary’s (MMM) ongoing row over costs is delaying payment of damages to them.
An indemnity fund was set up in 1997 through the sale of the hospital by the MMM to the North Eastern Health Board and monies were set aside specifically for claims regarding sexual abuse.
The group have claimed that it was known that this was internally referred to as the “Shine Fund”, and was worth 4.9 million as of 2017.
Victims and Survivors were led to believe that the Medical Missionaries of Mary had agreed to a settlement deal with their legal teams prior to Christmas 2021.
The group said:
“Essentially the HSE and MMM in their row over costs has had the direct result of derailing the settlement process for victims and survivors and forcing the progression of civil litigation cases before a jury.
“If this is allowed to happen this could take some time for the first case to come on, and years more for the rest.
“The HSE and the MMM row has nothing to do with victims and survivors.
“Some survivors have already died.
“Time marches on and many survivors are facing serious health challenges as they age.
“Mr. Shine has been tried, convicted, served his sentence, and is now being released, with no sign yet of restitution for the present group of survivors of his abuse over 30 years, when they were children.
“This contrasts sharply with other redress schemes established by the State and religious bodies in similar circumstances.
Adrienne Reilly CEO further stated:
“This is appalling, alarming, egregious and causing further unnecessary trauma, upset and harm.
“This case has been running for over 10 years for abuse that happened too many of them as children decades ago.
“While any settlement will not make them whole again, it will serve to acknowledge what has happened to them, give them the respect they deserve and allow them to move on in some respects.”
“We are also renewing our call on government, on behalf of all victims and survivors, to establish a public inquiry into the sexual abuse of patients in the Irish health service.
“Recent events such as the Barron Report and last week’s incidents in the North West are clear indicators that there is an immediate and critical need to explore the massive and ongoing failures in the child protection and criminal justice systems that allow serial abusers to operate with impunity in our health service for decades.
In addition, “any Public Inquiry must include the practices in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda and local clinic, where Shine worked for over 30 years.”
Dignity4Patients are also calling on the government to identify and adequately support & care for patient/victims of sexual offences suffered within the Irish health service.
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