Northern Ireland Compensation Scheme for survivors of abuse in residential institutions

At long last, the Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board has now been introduced to compensate victims who suffered abuse as children whilst in residential institutions from 1922 to 1995 in Northern Ireland.

The scheme offers up to £100,000 in compensation provided certain criteria are met with the largest element of an award to be assessed by a panel based on the severity of the abuse and suffering. This is where survivors are most likely to require legal assistance in setting out what they suffered and how it affected them. Applications are expected to be accepted at the end of March 2020.

This scheme appears to be relatively similar to the Residential Institutions Redress Board established in 2002 in Republic of Ireland.  Between 2002 and 2014 Matthew Gold & Company successfully represented hundreds of survivors before the Redress Board in Dublin. Generally, the Scheme provided fair and reasonable compensation and helped the victims put their painful experiences behind them.  Although no amount of money could fully compensate the victims for the abuse suffered, many found taking part in the Redress Scheme beneficial as it held the Government to account and, with the financial award, survivors were able to regain control of their lives with more financial freedom.

Matthew Gold has extensive experience in representing vulnerable clients in claims against Government authorities, in particular victims of abuse. He spent 12 years representing survivors before the Residential Institutions Redress Board in Dublin successfully obtaining thousands of Euros in compensation for the victims.

Matthew says:

“The introduction of the Northern Ireland scheme is long overdue and very welcomed. My firm wants to help represent survivors before the Redress Board in Northern Ireland to ensure the victims’ stories are being heard and the proper amount of compensation is being awarded. We are well placed in London to use our many years of experience in representing Claimants, assisting with the making of applications and preparing of evidence. Despite never being able to fully comprehend the trauma and pain which derives from abuse, the 25 years I having spent dealing first hand with survivors and advising them in relation to claims for compensation means I understand that talking about very personal experiences, often for the first time, can be very challenging and upsetting.  We have a great team of experienced lawyers who have the patience and skills required to obtain the evidence and present the applications for compensation and supporting the clients through a difficult process.”

The new Redress Board should provide for the payment of legal fees separate from the awards of compensation. Matthew Gold & Company will not take legal fees from any awards received.

Please see the Guide to the Redress Scheme Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board Fact Sheet which explains the process in an easy to follow format.

If you would like further information in relation to making an application to the Northern Ireland Redress Scheme please feel free to contact Matthew Gold & Co on 020 8445 9268 or