The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Irish in Britain “failed” by Caranua and Irish institutional abuse fund says victims’ campaigner

Simon McCarthy, who has worked with survivors for a number of years, has said.... (Source: image on file) Simon McCarthy, who has worked with survivors for a number of years says Caranua is failing Irish victims in Britain.

A CAMPAIGNER for British-based Irish survivors of industrial abuse says Caranua, the body set up to help them, is failing survivors in the UK.

Simon McCarthy, a support worker for victims in the Midlands, says Caranua has failed to “address the overwhelming disparity” between Irish-based and Britain-based victims.

Caranua (which means’new friend’ in Irish) was set up in January 2014 to give out financial compensation from the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund to victims who suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse while in the care of industrial schools and reformatories as children.

Within its first month of opening, Caranua received over 1000 applications from survivors to the fund.

To date, over 3097 people have been awarded financially from the fund, 604 of which are based in Britain.

If you weren’t connected to an Irish community, there’s no obvious way of finding out about the fund

“That’s 80 per cent of grants from the fund awarded so far are to Irish based survivors compared to the 20 per cent awarded to British-based survivors,” Mr McCarthy says.

“It’s a failure on Caranua not to address the overwhelming disparity to find out about the fund in Britain. If you weren’t connected to an Irish community, there’s no obvious way of finding out…” Mr McCarthy said.

Mr McCarthy estimates that as many as 3,000 survivors in Britain are without a network who have no “obvious way of finding out about the fund.”

He suggests a national advertising campaign to let survivors know about the fund.

“You can see by the numbers there’s an obvious problem with accessing the fund,” he says, “It’s fundamentally about knowledge of the fund, I don’t think they [survivors] know it exists.”

Caranua CEO Mary Higgins told The Irish Post that legislation, their temporary status as a state body and an overwhelming number of applications are all reasons that Caranua has not reached many British-based Irish survivors.

“Under our legislation, we are not allowed contact survivors who have not made contact with us directly. We are entirely dependent on word of mouth and awareness raising and publicity to get people to know about us and make contact with us.”

 We’re set up to manage a fund that is obviously limited, and when the fund is gone, we’ll be gone.

“In England, there are organisations set up to support survivors and we depend on working with them, as they work with survivors who are vulnerable and find it difficult to make an application.”

As to whether Caranua will ever set up a permanent address in Britain to meet with survivors here, Ms Higgins said they are a temporary organisation and it would not be a good use of the fund “to expend resources to set up structures.”

“It’s much better for us to work through existing structures,” Ms Higgins says.

“We’re set up to manage a fund that is obviously limited and when the fund is gone, we’ll be gone,” she said.

Mary Higgins, CEO of Caranua, says that..... (Source: RTE) Mary Higgins, CEO of Caranua, says that “it would not be a good use of the fund” to set up a permanent base in Britain. (Source: RTE)

Ms Higgins also addressed the waiting times some applicants have experienced and put it down to the initial staff shortages.

“We haven’t, quite honestly, been able to cope with the level of applications we received. It’s only in recent months that they have got down to a level we can manage.

“We spent nearly two years being under-resourced with staff and not being able to deal with applications that came in, obviously this was not efficient.”

Caranua is set to review its relationship and integration with British-based Irish survivors in October 2016.

Source -

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Some evil head on her, all she's short is a collar. Any survivor would be better off having nothing got to do with caranua given the absolute madness involved nearly 3 hears waiting for help don't want it anymore or would end up on ect in the hospital. They can stick the whole thing a mile up their hole. We should start a crowd fund to help survivors and do the job properly ourselves, leave the snakes to their poison.  

Regardless of the situation at Caranua it is quite clear that Caranua do not work and the Irish government have no interest in survivors. This money given by the Catholic Church after the Ryan Report was published was not Charity it was in lue of criminal processidings being taken by survivors against them and the shameful deal of giving them immunity. Survivors in Britain have being treated very badly by Caranua and by the board in many cases survivors have waited over two years with no contact and how many have died wating for what was rightfully there's.As Mary Higgins has stated when it's gone it's gone so is the chance of survivors ever receiving justice from the Catholic Church.This just goes to show that the Irish government are in denial of the suffering of survivors and the great speakers in the Dail to get this money were just a shower off wind bags looking after there intrest at the expense of survivors

It's quite clear in the minutes from meetings between Quinn and the men in black  that they fully believed that it was our families that carried out the abuse hence the contempt directed at us by Quinn's lackeys in caranua. I have given nearly a full year just in the caranua appeals process it's designed as a vehicle of suffering to inflict misery on to abuse victims.

Well my friends we have lost nothing we are leaders in exposing this pedophile empire called the Catholic Church and the crooks that ran Ireland for one Century

Time for that book William me thinks. I'l order 100 copies right now ;-)

"We’re set up to manage a fund that is obviously limited, and when the fund is gone, we’ll be gone."

I wonder if there's some loophole that we as Survivors could take the religious to task on the continued abuse through a fund set up for them through the government so they would be protected from the courts. As the fund is not working for the survivors would there be something in that to take them to  task?

From what I have learned todate it would have to run like this , caranua make a decision or action, you complain, go to appeal, request your solicitor to began a judicial review of the caranua process it must be done within 3 months of the decision or action taken by caranua. 

once again the wicket witch mary higgans cast a dark cloud over caranua and its future we can't last for ever

she moans we haven't got the staff to run caranua lack of cash .why don't you take a pay cut mary and stop 

buying your girl friend new cars and jewlery . have you no shame in you taking our money. the people that were abused by church and state should be better looked after not having to go and beg and wait months and years to get what they were promsed instead they are forced to beg off faceless people that will only talk on 

the phone thats if they answer it . once again i call for caranua to be closed down and for the government 

to set up a proper brand of funding for oll survivers till this happens caranua will continue to fail the people it

was set up to help .james fox 

Well said James, Higgins will take about half a million euro from the fund over the lifespan of caranua, half a million of money belonging to abuse victims for her to do with as she pleases, if Higgins really cared about delivery of funds to us then why has she claimed 6k in expenses on top of her huge salary. 

fuck this I'm going to phone caranua tomorrow mary higgans claimed 6grand and i can't get 75euro

to get a tooth fixed by jesus I'm hopping mad thanks michiel. james fox 

The fund is a Trust and if it was run properly it would never be exhausted, the government should disband Caranua and set up a Trust Fund that everyone can be proud of run by an actual company that can make the fund grow and the actual survivors are receiving the money or services needed to have a quality of life that they deserve. Survivors living in Ireland are treated the very same as those in Britain, the fund is USING COWBOYS to do work in the homes of survivors. One person I know sent in application with invoice of companies she wanted to do the work in her home which is a Council House. One morning about two weeks ago a crowd came to the door to do the bathroom not the company she invoiced for, they turned out to be a maintenance company the local authority uses, they had never been to the house before to assess what was needed and started taking the bathroom apart. They pulled out all the old stuff never made plans for her to use facilities while work was being done they put in a shower, toilet and sink in a tiny little bathroom they put tiles on the floor and tiles in the shower cubicle. She was not allowed to pick any of the items for her bathroom the materials used were all discontinued items that no one would purchase and left over from 1980. There was a problem with the electric and the Electricity company had to be called they told her it would be €2,000 to fix and Caranua said she would have to pay for it from her fund, in a council house that needs rewiring anyway. I told her to ask the guys who they were working for she did that and they told her the Council, in total she is being charged €12,000 for a front and back door 3 6ft windows and 3 4ft windows these are costing €5,000 and the rest was for the bathroom. They company never came back to finish the work in the bathroom, windows and doors have not been done yet, and she being told by caranua she has gone over her budget, by €2,000. I told her to ask for invoices for bathroom as it cost no more the €600 to do the work including materials.



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