The Shame of Ireland
The Government was told to scrap its pledge on the cost of the child abuse redress scheme before the most powerful religious order in education would discuss school patronage.
The demand was revealed in newly released records of a three-year stand-off between the State and congregations covered by the indemnity deal.
The Government’s original plan had been to pursue the transfer of school properties from religious orders to bridge a perceived €500m shortfall in contributions to the redress scheme. The Sisters of Mercy said no.
The 2011 Programme for Government said the transfers would be used to get the orders to cover 50% of the €1.5bn redress bill.
In July, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn got Cabinet approval for a more conciliatory tack that would allow congregations to remain in control of schools but relinquish title to the land.
According to a policy proposal put to Mr Quinn in February, the new strategy was designed to move the schools’ property debate away from the battle to get congregations to accept the 50:50 redress bill principle.
The softer stance came after more than three years of fractious negotiations which commenced following the publication of the Ryan Report.
The correspondence between Mr Quinn, his department, and the 18 orders covered under the indemnity deal has now been deemed eligible for release under the Freedom of Information Act. These revealed the frosty exchanges between the sides.
The most significant struggle involved the Sisters of Mercy, which owns 96 schools worth €281m and which transferred a further 66, worth €412m, to the Ceist religious trust.
It made an additional offer of €20m towards the new statutory fund, and property it valued at €107m. This offer was dismissed as inadequate and overvalued.
Following meetings with the department, the order wrote a letter making it clear its voluntary contribution in response to the Ryan Report “was not a matter for negotiation”.
It said it would not participate in any attempt by the State to revalue its post-2009 offer and it wanted the Programme for Government changed.
“We are not willing to enter negotiations with Government towards its fulfilment of school infrastructure which it made in its Programme for Government for the transfer of school infrastructure,” the order wrote.
In a memo to Mr Quinn, department officials said the compromised proposal, to transfer school sites without changing control, had been put to the 18 orders. Fifteen did not respond and the three that did express an interest only owned 16 schools between them.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
Why are the Mercy sisters calling the shots?
...and why are we paying well over €60 million a year to the Daughter of Charity that is promptly filtered through a series of interlocking shell companies?
Why are we paying around €200 million a year to the Brothers of Charity for the mostly very part time respite care of less than 2,500 severely disabled people that apparently requires almost as many admin staff as frontline staff?
Why does "Turn Off the Red Light" under the effective control of the Good Shepherd Sisters, Mercy Sisters and Daughters of Charity have a degree of control over the Irish media that would impress Goebbels as they relentlessly pursue laws that will destroy the incomes of sex workers and make them far more vulnerable alongside increased funding to return to their traditional business of providing "residential services" to "fallen women" at a time when coerced adoption has quietly been legalised through constitutional reform?
WHAT did "Focus Ireland" do with the land in Harold's cross given to them for €100 on condition it be developed to house homeless people or sold back in 2012 for €100? Why were the grilling free Government cheese for *SALE* to homeless people?
These orders are, in places, reduced to handfuls of members, and yet they seem to control this entire country at will.
I am beginning to think Henry VIII had a point (though *NOT* when it came to alternatives to Divorce!)
These orders hurt harmed and even killed people in living memory, yet, apart from a few token cases of tabloid friendly sexual abuse they remain above the law, inviolate and gearing up to do the whole thing over again.
an excellent post Gaye!
As usual ;-)
Firstly I would like to say that I am indebted to Pauline for sending me this in a Message. THANK YOU!
Secondly I would also like to thank Mossie for Posting it. THANK YOU!
In have always said this is YOUR website;
It is great to see you taking control and bringing things to Each others Attention!
All I have to say at the Moment is that it is a Case of the Tail Wagging the Dog!
You really couldn't make this Shit up!!
I am Speechless!
PS Checked my emails I believe Jack got the message to me First!
Way to Go Team Shame Of Ireland!!
Incidentally Rob, I went through the LABORIOUS process of saving all the Freedom of Information documents attached to this article.
I am happy to send them in a zip file to anyone who sends me an email addy...
those info docs would be handy in archieves Gaye!
Someone tell me how to put them there and I will...they need to be where people with lives can download them in one go. :)
Gaye. Rob is excellent at navigating this site. very important docs.
On their way...in HUGE zip file...may take a while...
It is about time all those religious orders be them nuns or priests were put in there place and under stand that the government runs the country not them. MOST OF THOSE RELIGIOUS ORDERS HAVE BROKEN EVERY LAW IN CHILD ABUSE AND ON THAT BASES SHOULD NOT EVEN BE RUNNING ANY SCHOOLS NEVER MIND OWNING ONE. Any other person who committed those kind of crimes would be in jail and all moneys made from those crimes would be confiscated. Those religious orders are abusers and that should be enough for the government to take the strongest action against them. This Mr Quinn is a weakling and is afraid of them, he should stand up to them and let them know who runs the country and who makes the laws. As far as I an concerned they can all be made bankrupt. They made my life hell for 16 years and I have never forgotten it. From John Mc Carthy.