McCartney urges fast-tracking of abuse compensation bill before parliament is dissolved

Sinn Féin justice spokesperson Raymond McCartney has called on the British government to clarify what impact the upcoming election will have on victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 3:52 pm
Raymond McCartney

The Foyle MLA said: “The victims need some reassurance about what will happen now an election has been called.

“Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has written to the British secretary of state regarding redress for victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse.

“She has told him this issue needs to be progressed without delay and that the legislation goes through before the Westminster parliament dissolves."

Mr. McCartney said victims are "absolutely distraught" at the prospect there might be any delays on getting legislation implemented and redress for victims resolved.

With an election provisionally approved for December 12 Westminster will soon pass into ‘purdah’ for six weeks from the publication of a notice for an upcoming poll.

If the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill is not expedited over the coming days it will fall with the dissolution of the outgoing parliament.

Mr. McCartney said: “These victims and survivors many of whom are in poor health both physically and mentally cannot be the collateral damage in a chaotic parliament.

“Their hopes have been dashed on so many occasions and we all thought they were finally going to be able to get long-awaited redress for the terrible abuses they suffered at the hands of state and religious institutions.

“Clarification is needed urgently on this to ensure victims receive the redress they are long entitled to.”