Victims of crime in Ireland can only recover limited compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act and at this week’s annual general meeting of the Federation for Victim Assistance in Athlone, delegates will be told by personal injuries solicitor Liam Moloney of the need for change to the present legislation.
Under existing legislation, victims of crime are not entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering, scarring and/or disfigurement, according to Mr. Moloney, who will tell the conference “Victims of crime in Ireland are being discriminated against”.
In almost all European Countries compensation is awarded for pain and suffering, while in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France and Sweden, additional compensation is awarded for moral damages or for the violation of a victim’s personal integrity.
Mr. Moloney will tell delegates that in his view it is clear victims of crime in Ireland are being discriminated against when it comes to appropriate and fair levels of compensation. “The 2004 EU Directive states that all member States shall ensure that their national rules provide for the existence of compensation schemes which will guarantee fair and appropriate compensation for victims of intentional crime”.
That is not the case in Ireland, the conference will hear and in a large number of cases, victims are not being compensated adequately for very serious injuries inflicted upon them, according to Mr. Moloney.
He supports amending the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in order to bring it into line with the UK and to ensure its compliance with EU Law. Continued failure to amend the legislation and the State’s refusal to fully compensate victims will almost certainly be challenged in the courts, Mr. Moloney believes.
The two day conference will take place in the Creggan Court Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, on Friday and Saturday, April 15th and 16th, and will be attended by federation delegates from branches across the country.
Federation Chairperson, Máiread Fernane, who will chair the conference, this week welcomed Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s statement re victims having confidence when reporting sexual crimes to An Garda Síochána, saying such a statement was more appropriate than ever before in light of recent alleged remarks by Gardaí in Mayo.
For further information contact:
Liam Moloney, Solicitor 087 2726759 / 045 – 898000, email firstname.lastname@example.org