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Capacity to accept and receive an award:

To all successful applicants: Most applicants will succeed in receiving awards of €50,000, €100,000 or €150,000. These are significant sums of money intended to give a degree of comfort and ease in approaching old age. Unfortunately, with old age comes an increased risk of stroke, dementia, alzheimers and other illnesses or diseases that can cause a person to lose her capacity to make decisions.

In anticipation of these conditions occurring, it might be a very good idea to discuss the concept of enduring power of attorney with your family and your solicitor.

If you are reading this on behalf of an applicant who you think may not have capacity, please write to us and let us know. Please give us the reason why you think the applicant does not have capacity.

Considerations for Applicants seeking to apply for payment under 1B:

You must provide an original medical report that confirms physical symptoms and/or conditions directly attributable to the surgical symphysiotomy and which have had a serious and debilitating effect on your quality of life. These physical symptoms and/or conditions must have continued for more than three years after the surgical symphysiotomy was performed. These physical symptoms and/or conditions might include (but are not limited to) pelvic instability, pelvic pain, dyspareunia, urinary incontinence, back pain, pain on walking. There has to be a causal and temporal link between the symphysiotomy and the physical symptoms and/or conditions. For example, back pain or urinary incontinence which presents 30 years after the symphysiotomy is more likely to be age related than directly attributable to the symphysiotomy.

If you had significant physical symptoms and/or conditions after the symphysiotomy which continued for a significant period of time, it is expected that you attended your GP over the years and that your GP referred you to the relevant specialist to deal with these symptoms and/or conditions. If this is the case, a copy of your GP records from the date of the surgical symphysiotomy together with a report from your GP may be sufficient to establish significant disability.

A report from a GP who does not have a history of treating you for such physical symptoms and/or conditions will not be sufficient to establish significant disability.

You may also provide any other further documentation that you may think is relevant to establish significant disability.

Not all applicants will have suffered significant disability. Some have had very significant pain for approximately a year with symptoms diminishing over the next year or so. On the other hand, some applicants who have had symphysiotomy have had immediate urinary symptoms which have required urethral repair, bladder repair etc. Some applicants have had significant wear and tear in the sacroiliac joint at an inappropriate age, therefore satisfying the causal and temporal link. Other applicants have on MRI investigation shown no wear and tear either in their sacroiliac joints or in the hips.

What the Scheme Covers:

The Payment-Scheme covers Surgical Symphysiotomy. It does not cover a spontaneous symphysiotomy or episiotomy.

Payment of awards:

The Scheme is anxious to protect the payments of awards to Applicants which must be lodged to a nominated bank account. We would hate to see money get lost into the wrong account just because of inadvertent human error in writing out long bank numbers (either from you to us or us to the Minister or the Minister back to you). To minimise the possibility of transcription error, any Applicant to whom an award is to be paid should cut off the top of a recent Bank Statement, showing the Account Name and Address, the BIC and IBAN numbers and send this to us if you are offered an award. The Bank account should be in your name. This extract of your statement will be forwarded to the Minister when Judge Clark makes an request to pay.

Spontaneous Symphysiotomy:

In pregnancy, the release of hormones frequently softens the connecting tissue between bones; this allows the bony pelvis to expand during childbirth.
Sometimes this natural effect is exaggerated and can result in the two halves of the pelvis separating to such an extent that it becomes unstable.
This is called a spontaneous symphysiotomy.


When a baby's head is being delivered vaginally, it can sometimes tear the perineum (the space between the entrance to the vagina and the anus).
To prevent a ragged tear, the perineum is sometimes cut with scissors; this cut is called an episiotomy.
The use and possible overuse of episiotomy is frequently discussed but it is an accepted part of childbirth, done thousands of times each year in Ireland.

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