Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Bill 2013: Second Stage (Resumed) Private Members

I welcome the women and their families to the Gallery tonight and in so doing acknowledge their suffering, pain, the horror of what they have gone through and the tragedy that this has continued right up to the present day. All of us and the State owe them our sincere apologies and genuine and warm acknowledgement.
I congratulate my constituency colleague, Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, on his introduction of the Bill with the all-party group and the work he has done on it. I salute him for that.
I acknowledge the Minister’s acceptance of the Bill. That was a humane, sensible reaction based on a genuine compassion and understanding and a desire that the situation would not be repeated. I congratulate him and the Minister of State, Deputy White, who is present, on that wise and sensitive decision. The women, including the victims in the Gallery, have gone through enough without having in some way to defend their position further and to witness a division on the legislation. I admire the acceptance of the Bill.
The women deserve a speedy outcome, the quickest possible outcome that can be achieved for them. They should not have to go through an adversarial process nor should they be challenged other than to establish the reality of what happened. No obstacles should be put in their way. They should not have to go through difficult court proceedings. The women deserve to be compensated and to get a holistic solution in the sense that their psychological, physical and medical needs arising from what has happened must be addressed.
I look forward to the response of the Minister and the Minister of State. I had the privilege of serving with the Minister of State, Deputy White, in the Seanad and I am aware of his empathy in such situations. I urge him to assure us in his reply that the response will be quick and holistic and that there will not be an adversarial dimension for the women, that there will be an acceptance of the wrong done and an earnest effort to solve the problem for what is only 200 people, but it is too many to have even one person in this situation.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website