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.

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Awesome Post Barbara.

Hi Jack, thank you, I believe that survivors are being ripped off by Caranua, and what I have seen with my own eyes in the renovation of the bathroom tells me this is an actual fact. They say that they will be back next week and I will be there to ask the questions of whom they are working for, as the person "survivor" suffers from social anxieties and finds it very had to talk to people. 

Social Anxiety Is A Blighter.

Update on the renovations to the Bathroom by preferred suppliers of Caranua, the company send a guy on Monday he was to arrive between 9 and 10 a.m. so I made sure I was there as the person having the bathroom renovated finds it difficult to talk up for herself due to her social anxieties. I told him the work done on the bathroom was of extremely poor standard and I explained what needed to be finished, I told him the workmanship is shoddy at the least and the materials use by his company were all out of date discontinued items. I took photos last week and I made him contact his employer which he did he then took photos of the work that needed finished for his boss. The boss told him what to do and go and get some bits and pieces he also told the person that she had chosen herself the tile and colour which was totally an untruth as she was only given a choice of white or cream she was not given any choice of style and the tile on the floor does not match the tile in the shower unit. I asked the guy who by the way is a subcontractor for another company hired by Caranua who he was working for and who was paying the company and he could tell me to my face that Caranua hired the company that hired him, so much for the privacy and the person was totally mortified that anyone new of her past. Since Monday the toilet has started leaking and the company send an totally new guy and he asked who did the work on the bathroom and she told him and he refused to touch any of the work and told her who ever did the work were only handymen and not qualified plumbers or tillers. This is an absolute shame as its the only time and way she would ever be able to have her bathroom fitted for old age.

wow.  That is Shocking And Depressing And Alarming And Distressing Etc.

its a total disgrace Jack, and the worst thing is you have no one to complain to as caranua will not listen and the workers don't care they got paid up front.

Whoever Came Up With The Idea That Staff Should Be Paid Out Of The Fund Was out To Cause As Much Trouble As Possible. Where Was The Outraged Opposition?

So True Jack, they are the lowest form of life treating vulnerable people with so much contempt!

Wrong On All Levels From The Start.

she looks like a fuckin NUN



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