The Boston Progressive - Under The Fold

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Redress Board Deadline approaching, ...

... but many in US may be unaware of the Board at all.

The Boston Globe recently ran a story in their "Local News" section about the upcoming deadline of December 15, 2005, for applications for financial compensation from the Residential Institutions Redress Board in Ireland. The Redress Board is a commission that was established in 2002 to take compensation applications and determine the relative severity of, physical, emotional and sexual abuse inflicted on inmates of over 120 "institutions" that housed children in Ireland and that were mostly run by the Roman Catholic Church, with funding by the Irish government.

The deadline is quickly approaching for these applications, and there has been no advertising, by the Redress Board, in the United States, despite assurances given, to the Boston Globe in 2002, that there would be advertising in this country about the Boards and its purpose, even though American cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Chicago holds large numbers of Irish immigrants.

The contact address for the Redress Board is:

Residential Institutions Redress Board,
Belfield Office Park,
Beech Hill Road
Dublin 4

The appplication process, and forms, are available here.

It would seem that certified international mail, with receipt signature required, should be the option to use here. But then I'm used to dealing with the requirements of businesses and government agencies here, where you have to Really! Truly! Complied! With notification requirements for everything from mortgage payments to tax returns.

In an arrangement that seems familiar to those of us who have looked at "gag order" clauses in settlement cases, anybody who appears before the Board is subject to remaining silent, under penalty of $3000 and/or 3 months in jail.

The Redress Board even has a published matrix that says how the monetary awards will be weighted. I know it probably makes things more transparent, to a degree, but it is still something that I find disturbing Even after working for several insurance companies, and dealing with actuaries, off and on, for almost 20 years the essence of calculating just what a shattered life is worth in dollars is still something that shakes me.

More detailed background is available at my background post here.


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