The Shame of Ireland
Full Article Reproduced : -
A survivor of institutional abuse has claimed he was dropped from the board of Caranua after speaking out about issues with the state agency.
David Lane, who was in a religious institution for almost 18 years, was told that one of the reasons he was rejected after reapplying to the board of Caranua, which runs a redress fund for victims of institutional abuse, was because he did not have the relevant “financial expertise”.
Catherine Connolly, an independent TD, said she was horrified that Mr Lane was excluded for that reason when Caranua itself was found to have major issues with financial control and had been accused of misspending survivors’ money on administrative costs.
Caranua was set up to distribute a fund of €110 million to survivors who have health, housing or educational needs. The Times has reported that the agency has spent some of the fund on a €2 million agency staff bill and has paid €100,000 of an expected €800,000 to a counselling service run by the Catholic church. It has also incurred redecoration costs despite knowing it was about to relocate to a new office and is expected to spend more than €820,000 on the move over the next three years.
Caranua has been operating without a board of management since March. There must be four survivors of abuse on the board, according to the legislation it was set up under. This week three of the four survivors who had been on the board, including Mr Lane, were dropped after reapplying.
Several board members said that Mr Lane was “outstanding” and one of the most outspoken members when he felt Caranua was not acting in the best interests of survivors. Mr Lane said the rejection reminded him of the abuse he experienced in St Joseph’s Orthopaedic Hospital for Children in Co Westmeath, where he was sent as a child because he was born with spina bifida.
Caranua did not respond to Mr Lane’s criticisms and said that filling the vacancies on the board was carried out by the public appointments service.