DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) _ The government struck a compensation deal Thursday with relatives of hemophiliacs who died from HIV-tainted blood products, a move the health minister said would ``end a major trauma in Irish life.''

The agreement announced by Health Minister Micheal Martin and the Irish Hemophilia Society, estimated at $90 million, came after more than a decade of campaigning by customers of state-provided blood products, mostly hemophiliacs, who suffer sporadic bleeding episodes that destroy joints and damage organs.

Since the early 1980s nearly half of Ireland's approximately 500 hemophiliacs have contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, or hepatitis C. Seventy-six have died, mostly from AIDS. The chief culprit was blood-clotting agents imported in the 1980s from U.S. companies that got their product from paid donors.

Successive governments denied responsibility for underfunding Ireland's blood supply board, which had inadequate screening and other safety standards in place for decades. One government collapsed in 1989 in a dispute about establishing a trust fund for hemophilic victims.

The scandal has been the subject of a judicial investigation for the past three years, as well as a drama series called ``No Tears'' shown on Irish state television in January and February, which dramatized the victims' struggle for justice.

A key part of Thursday's agreement would allow hemophiliacs who contracted HIV, or relatives of victims who died, to claim compensation from a tribunal originally established to give payments to hepatitis C sufferers only.

``The government recognizes the uniquely tragic story of what happened to hemophiliacs in this country,'' said Martin, who opened negotiations with the Irish Hemophilia Society last year.

The deal was expected to be passed by parliament next week. Opposition lawmakers, whose parties have also been implicated in the scandal, said they would not oppose it.