Victims of the thalidomide scandal in Ireland, a drug licensed there in the 1950's and early 1960's and given to pregnant women to prevent morning sickness and insomnia, will reportedly take legal action in a bid to secure more compensation.
Thalidomide left 34 Irish children born to the mothers who received the drug with deformities which were severe in many cases.
According to the Irish Independent the Irish Thalidomide Association (ITA), representing the survivors, will begin taking legal action as soon as this week.
The action follows after the collapse of talks with the Irish Department of Health, after governments pre-election promise to deliver additional compensation went unaddressed.
The survivors of the scandal are now middle aged and are facing facing increasing disability, the Independent reports.
The Association said the original 1975 compensation package was never approved by the High Court, paving the way for their legal actions.
ITA members told the press they planned to launch a political campaign against the present Government, claiming that Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Deputy Prime Minister Eamonn Gilmore and Minister for Health Doctor James Reilly have all reneged from their individual commitments contained in the program for government.
The ITA said that all discussions between it and government have now ceased.
'The original miserly settlement offer delivered by the Irish State in 1975 was based on the presumption that the ITA members would not survive into adulthood, never mind see their 50th birthdays,' chairperson of the ITA Maggie Woods, 50, the TheJournal.ie.
Woods – who turns 50 this week – says she holds the Irish government responsible for the present failures in the Irish State’s position.