A local TD says a scheme to assist victims of crime is not working and causing immense stress.

Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West John Curran believes the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal is failing to fulfil its intended role in assisting those that have suffered personal injuries which were criminally inflicted.

Deputy Curran received information through a Parliamentary Question this week that reveals only 18 claims were settled in compensation last year.

This is the lowest number of resolved cases ever recorded since the scheme began, which provides compensation to cover out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical bills and missed wages to victims of crime.

Deputy Curran says there are concerns at the length applicants must wait to have their cases processed.

“The lengthy delays in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, which is intended to assist victims of crime in this country, are causing immense stress for injured and very vulnerable victims and their families,” he said.

“The Tribunal’s limited resources and economic constraints are slowing down the process of claims and subsequently victims obtaining their due compensation in a prompt manner and in accordance with constitutional justice.

“It’s most frustrating that the Minister is unable to determine precisely how many victims are still waiting for a pay-out in compensation in order to get back to living their lives.

“Some of these people will have suffered life-altering injury as a result of criminality.

“The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal is very clearly not operating as it had been intended it would and is certainly not assisting any meaningful number of vulnerable victims.

“The number of unsettled claims is going to continue to rise without intervention by the Minister; he needs to get to it.”