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Irish concern over abuse claim fraud

Fraudulent claims and opportunism could be behind some of the submissions being made to the Irish Redress Board, a group of former residents of Church-run institutions in Ireland has warned.

The Board was set up by the Irish Government to make fair and reasonable awards to persons who, as children, were abused while resident in industrial schools, reformatories and other institutions subject to state regulation or inspection.

Mary Walsh, a former resident of the Good Shepherd Sisters´ orphanage in Waterford and co-founder of Let Our Voices Emerge (LOVE) said that opportunism is leading to false allegations being made against religious and that incidents may be exaggerated out of proportion.

Citing her own experience, she said a group of twelve friends who had gone through the institution together and had often returned to visit their former carers, had split up over the last couple of years because of claims by a number of the group that they had been abused.

Saying she never witnessed any abuse, she attributes the shift in attitude amongst some former residents as stemming from the possibility of "big sums of money" in the form of compensation.

Those found guilty of committing perjury before the Redress Board face fines of up to $A42,632 and two years in prison.

Irish Catholic

Residential Institutions Redress Board
Irish abuse claims could reach $A1.71 billion (1/10/03)
The sisters of no mercy (The Observer)

3 Oct 2003