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27/07/2021

WATCH: Limerick school abuse survivor says 'we can now get on with our lives'

ONE of the men who experienced sexual abuse at the Creagh Lane school in the city has welcomed the fact former pupils can now apply for redress.

It comes after Education Minister Norma Foley reactivated a scheme to allow victims of abuse at day schools across the State the chance to qualify for an ex-gratia award.

There were at least 19 people sexually abused at the former Creagh Lane national school in Bridge Street during the 1960s.

Its former pupils have been seeking their inclusion in an ex-gratia redress scheme since 2009 when their abuser Seán John Drummond, a former Christian Brother, was convicted.

And John Boland, who was a student at the school in the late 1960s, says there is a sense of closure - although he remains a small bit concerned about some of the small print which could pose problems with claiming compensation.

"We were travelling to Dublin two to three times a week at our own expense. This means we can get back to life. We can now get on with our lives. It's closing one big chapter, and we can open so many more doors. We can sit down and have our chat with the coffee, chat with the lads, talk about the hurling match. I haven't spoken about the hurling match last week, and it's supposed to have been the most amazing game there's ever been," John told the Limerick Leader.

The former Creagh Lane student says this "puts the nail in the coffin" and allows them to get on with their lives.

Sadly, many former students and parents are not present for this news.

Asked if he had a message to them, John said: "We did our best for you. These words won't do any good to their families now - but they were right, simple as that, they were right all along."

He also paid tribute to local TDs Willie O'Dea and Maurice Quinlivan for keeping the issue of redress high on the Dail agenda.

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