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Parliamentary Question - Minster Health - issues raised by thalidomide survivors

To ask the Minister for Health the progress that has been made to date in finding an out-of-court resolution to the issues raised by thalidomide survivors; his views on the recent discussions that he had with the group and the outcome; the reason for the reported cost of €24 million to Department of providing documents for the ongoing court case; if he will provide an accurate costing of running the case to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The question raised by the Deputy includes reference to matters related to litigation that has been delegated to the State Claims Agency. The Deputy will appreciate that it not possible for me to comment on matters that are sub-judice.

However, I am happy to inform the Deputy that I met with members of the Irish Thalidomide Association in February last and assured them of the Government's commitment to provide them with the necessary health supports to meet their related needs.

Following that meeting, the designated senior manager in the Health Service Executive who liaises with Irish thalidomide survivors and assists them to access supports towards their ongoing health and personal social service needs, commenced a process to develop recommendations for future planning and pathways of care for survivor's he care needs now and into the future. The recommendations will also inform the work already underway in the Department to provide these health and personal social supports on a statutory footing as committed to by the Government.

The State Claims Agency (SCA) has advised that it has paid €2,015,961 in respect of thalidomide related claims against the Department of Health. This figure is as of 30th June 2022.

The sum of €2,015,961 relates to all payments made to the plaintiffs and their solicitor firm; payments made to experts; and payments made in respect of the plaintiffs' and the Department's legal costs, to include the costs of documentary counsel.

It is not possible to estimate the future costs nor the expected completion date of the litigation.

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