The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Ha ya

Have just now got off the phone with Mr Quinn TD

Had a talk to him regarding Caranua. He wants me to write to him regarding any problems we have had about Caranua.

If you want me to include any problems you have encountered, just message me 

I will not disclose names to him, just the problems we have encountered.

He will then write to the chair of Caranua on our behalf.

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Hi Bernadette, 

Would you please find out for me....

I didn't attend an institution in Ireland, I was raised by my Mother and Father along with 2 siblings. My brother died as did my parents and I've not seen my sister in around 30 years.

I applied to the RIRB and was awarded compensation through the courts on behalf of my mother. When the Statutory Trust Fund was then switched to Caranua, the rules were that in order to be able to apply to caranua, you must have been through the redress board.

That has since been changed to Caranua only being available to people who were actually in an Institution and not family members of survivors.

My abuse inflicted upon me by my mother was no different to the abuse endured by people in institutions. My mother was extremely ill because of what the institutions did to her.

I am trying to get my teeth fixed, I am in fairly poor health and my mental health is unbalanced because of my upbringing. I applied to Caranua and they've told me that I cannot apply? This made me feel suicidal.

Please could you ask them why? I blame the institutional abuse for my condition. My life could have been very much different if the Nuns had only kept their hands to themselves.

Hope you don't mind me asking this.

Many Thanks,

Lizzie x

Hi Lizzie

Yes I can write on your behalf, would you like me to put your name in correspondence to Mr Quinn  or would you rather I leave it out.


Hi Berni, 

Yes please do put my name, but would you give it in full please? 

Elizabeth Dormer.

Much appreciated and good luck.

Lizzie x

I have sent email to Mr Quinn on your behalf asking him to help you  I just copied and paste your questions. is that ok . fingers crossed xxx 

I have sent email to Mr Quinn on your behalf asking him to help you  I just copied and paste your questions. is that ok . fingers crossed xxx

Dear Bernadette,


Please don't raise your hopes about Mr Quinn changing the current modes operandi re caranua(I sent the below to Mrs Higgins-and all I got back in her reply was a load of evasive waffle.).


There is indeed none so blind as those who don't WANT to see!


Best wishes nonetheless in your endeavours.



Dear Mrs Higgins,


I am writing to you in the first instance to express my deep concern regarding the modes operandi and the time taken to effect its implementation in respect of payments made to former abused children of the irish institutional system by 'Caranua'.


Whilst I am led to believe(rightly or wrongly),that such procedures as now exist have been determined by your peers on a political/ecclesiastical level-and whilst in no way approving for one moment of such oppressive  directives-nonetheless, by the same'yardstick',I cannot accept the current snail-like 'in-house' methodology of operational activity-or the exposure to abuse by tradesmen,carers etc. etc.-once monies are handed over to them with no means of non-protracted redress for aged ,sick and vunerable folk-many of whom will be dead before matters are resolved.

(And I am reliably informed that caranua is not prepared to offer any assistance in this aforsaid matter).

This is to say,(sadly),inculcated in Caranua's present philosophical 'pragmaticism' are the growing seeds of ingratitude-and worse.

(For any good work which might be accomplished in the protracted time that is taken to process requests -in conjunction with(absurd) overly accountancy exactness-forms,I respectfully suggest,the basis for further institutional abuse-that is,your present' arthritic' and 'strait-jacketed' organisation denominated 'Caranua').

In others words Mrs higgins(assuming the current obstinacy persists),you will no doubt, 'at the end of the day', declare that the operation was a success in political-image etc. terms.(But will you have the good courage before the inevitable investigating media (and other sources), to declare that the goodwill(if not the actual physical bodies of some of your 'clients')died- between, that is,the retarded cuckoo of an idea and the semi-functional/moral dyslexic reality as stated above?


Is THIS the legacy you wish to inherit for your (own)posterity and the annals of irish social history.(And I have not included in this missive other aspects -real or imagined-of caranua's activity as found in print in the public domain).

The good news is,however, that it is NOT too late for you to take this matter before your political etc. bosses and seek a revised expeditious,just and sensible mandate -a mandate that treats mature adults with the respect they deserve-and that without due delay or (hyper) pharisaicial paperwork.

This mandate I am proposing would take the following shape:

1.That a lump sum from the financial 'pot' be given to all claiments-after reasonable office expenses and salaries are deducted.   This,roughly, is what the redress board enacted-treating its victims of abuse as responsible adults.

Why hasnt caranua followed this successful and just template?

2.In turn,this would(greatly) expedite matters and remove a burden of work from your limited and hard-pressed advisors.

Further, the current staffing levels under this new mandate would be adequate to the task.

3.Past monies granted to claimants can be deducted under this new arrangement-with the balance due to claiments forwarded to their account.

4.No residual monies should be given to a children's home project.(If such is needed,let the government or another charity take care of this matter).It is OUR money-it is(we)who have been (proven)to have been abused under some of the most iniquitous and repressive institutional systems known to the western so-called civilised world.

Further,those who have provided the said monies done so as an expression of their repentance for gross wrong-doing.

Repentance by definition is an unconditional act and cannot ,therefore,dictate terms to the offended-be it before the god they profess to believe in or the society they serve. (Something which has escaped caranuas grasp it would seem!).

5.That an independent complaint procedure be established-as opposed to the current 'incestuous' arrangement. Survivors can have NO confidence in such an arrangement!

Now it may indeed be necessary Mrs Higgins(and however distaseful),for you and your staff to 'down tools' for a time and refuse to work under present conditions.

In so doing,you would have the unqualified support from all survivors and gain the respect and admiration which you do not possess at present.


Finally,permit me to close this letter with the following words of timely admonition.

'Would to God I served my maker as well as I served my king'!- wrote an  anguished  authority over here when his days on this earth were coming to a close. 

(What will your answer to this question be when the same inevitable event  occurs?)

'If only'... is ALWAYS too late.

I am,Madam,


Yours sincerely,

Terence Ellard.


Hi Terence 

We can only try.

I did write to Mr Quinn a couple of years back and got the usual response form his I suppose assistance at that time.

I met Mr Quinn at a meeting in Brighton at the Labour Party Conference and spoke to him about Caranua. He asked for my telephone number as he said he would get in touch. Give him his due he did ring was not expecting him to do so.

As i said we can but try and just see what happens.



Brilliant Terence did you receive a reply

Hi again,helen.  Yes,I did receive a reply-but only the standard 'waffle'.  Quite frankly,caranua is in a mess-of its own creation-made worse by the fact that only 68 million euros of the promised 110 million has been paid into its account to date.  This is one of the main reasons why claimant's requests are being reduced-despite statements to the opposite circa one year ago.  Poor leadership both in-house and at a political level are to blame here.(With all its many faults-at least The redress Board had operational stability!).

If things continue as they are-expect further reductions in monies paid-out.


I spoke for half an hour today to 'AC' on the telephone(you know who I mean),and I am sorry to see this person is leaving.  Applause for such a principled stand is called-for here!  Indeed I count this person as a good friend of mine for taking such action.


I am so sorry to learn of your 'snubbing' experience with mary Higgins-but if it is any consolation to you,this says more about her than you.  She should at least have had the courtesy and maturity to give you ,however brief,an acknowledgement.

Take care-and keep in touch,




Hi Bernadette

Hope you are well and have just sent you a friend request. 

I went to the Caranua information day held at Radisson Blu on 21st November 2015 to find out why my funding had been cut off as I am half way through my dental treatment and physiotherapy having had several falls during the past few months and letters and invoices were sent to Caranua over 5 weeks ago.  Mary Higgins made it quite clear to me she was not interested in answering my questions     I felt she was very dismissive of me and made no eye contact but continued to pour herself tea and avoid answering my questions and then walked away.  I have heard from some of the survivors they were treated in the same manner and I really feel this woman is not the right person to be heading Caranua as she is very insensitive and most of the survivors are very vulnerable and need patience and guidance.  My adviser informed me he was leaving Caranua because his hands were tied and the goal posts were constantly changing and he was unable to give  the help and support they need.


Although there is little any of us can do to help you personally, my heart goes out to you. My teeth are in the same kind of mess and I'm actually thinking of reporting my issues about Caranua to English media explaining our treatment. 

I'm sorry to hear your advisor has left but he has told you why and that just proves what they're doing to us all.

You're in my thoughts x

Lizzie x x

HI Helen

sorry for not replying sooner, knackered my lap top and had to borrow another one from a friend.

Have written email to Mr Quinn today and put some of the points you make above to him.

Have I accepted your friend request? 

Berni xx 



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