Man loses compensation appeal case

Wednesday 24 June 2009 22.58
High Court - Judicial proceedings taken
High Court - Judicial proceedings taken

A man has lost a High Court challenge to the Residential Institutions Redress Board's refusal to accept his application for compensation.

The 74-year-old man had his application for compensation for alleged abuse in an industrial school rejected because it was made too late.

The Court ruled the man, who cannot be named, failed to explain the delay in making his application.

His solicitor, Eileen McMahon, described the decision as ‘grossly unfair’ and said he will consider a Supreme Court appeal.

She said it raised questions about how we deal with the elderly and the consistency of decisions made by the Redress Board.

The man claims he was subjected to serious abuse in an industrial school in the south from 1947 to 1953.

He has lived in the UK since 1955 and claimed he was did not know about the Redress Board compensation scheme until he saw a newspaper ad in November 2005.

This was two weeks before the scheme formally closed to applicants.

However, he claimed he did not know how to apply and so missed the deadline.

He submitted an application eight weeks later but this was rejected by the Board.

This afternoon, his application to overturn the Redress Board's decision was dismissed by Mr Justice Daniel O'Keeffe.

In his judgement he said the Board was entitled to conclude that ignorance of the existence of the scheme did not constitute ‘exceptional circumstances’.

He said the applicant had adequate opportunity to apply, and had failed to explain the delay in making his application.

He said the Board's decision was not ‘irrational or unreasonable.’