Survey says 75% would support scheme for Troubles victims in Republic

By Cillian Sherlock, PA

Around one in 10 people in the Republic could define themselves a victim of the Troubles, a report carried out on behalf of the Commission for Victims and Survivors in Northern Ireland (CVSNI) has found.

The findings show that 4 per cent of the Republic’s population say they have been bereaved as a result of the Troubles, 7 per cent say their mental health has been affected by a Troubles or conflict-related incident and 7 per cent say they have been present at, or witnessed, a conflict-related incident.

Of those who said their mental or physical health has been affected by the Troubles, 62 per cent say they continue to be affected.

The CVSNI worked with Social Market Research to replicate some of the questions of a previous survey of people in Northern Ireland in 2021.


Northern Ireland Victims’ Commissioner Ian Jeffers said his office, which was set up in the years after the Good Friday Agreement to address the needs of those affected by the conflict, had initially been focused on the North.

He added: “But hurt, loss, grief and the many other ways in which conflict has affected people’s lives knows no borders and so over the years, our work has evolved to give greater consideration to those victims and survivors outside Northern Ireland.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to gather some concrete data which I hope gives us the evidence base we need when engaging with relevant bodies in the South on how we can put measures in place to improve lives of people there who still bear the impacts of the Troubles today.”

The survey, published on Monday, also found that 82 per cent of the population feel it is important to address the impact the Troubles have had within the Republic and 79 per cent believe victims there should have the same access to services and support as those in the North.


Asked specifically about the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme, brought in by the UK government and mainly accessible to victims and survivors in Britain and Northern Ireland, 75 per cent of the Republic’s population said they are in support of the Government of Ireland implementing a similar scheme for the severely injured.

Mr Jeffers added: “The next step for us will be to look at how we share these findings in ROI so that they have a real impact on policies and decision-making for victims and survivors there.

“It comes at a critical time for victims and survivors as the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill proceeds from the UK parliament to royal assent.

“From that point on, a fundamentally flawed Bill becomes law and so we all have a role to play in helping shape its outworkings to actually delver something of benefit for victims.

“I know that many people can be unwilling to wear the label of victim and that’s fine.

“But the figures in this survey can start to give us an idea of the extent of lives affected and whether we are meeting their needs.

“As we move into the lifetime of Northern Ireland’s new Strategy for Victims and Survivors, that is the part we need to focus on.

“If your mental health has been affected, if you lost a loved one, if you’re living with a long-term injury, for example – I want to help make sure your needs are being represented to policy makers, regardless of geography.”