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The Shame of Ireland

Caranua used survivors’ redress funds to pay for offices



Caranua used survivors’ redress funds to pay for offices

Independents4Change TDs ‘inundated’ with complaints about independent State body


Independents4Change TD Catherine Connolly is to move a motion in the Dáil calling for measures, including a review of operations at Caranua, “without delay”.

Independents4Change TD Catherine Connolly is to move a motion in the Dáil calling for measures, including a review of operations at Caranua, “without delay”.


Caranua, the independent State body established to distribute religious funding to survivors of institutional abuse, has been paying for office space despite having told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) it was not.

According to a letter to the PAC, seen by The Irish Times, Caranua paid more than €50,000 in the past year from a fund it manages to enhance abuse survivors’ lives, for office space.

Its chief executive Mary Higgins told the committee last month none of the €110 million pledged by religious orders had so far been spent on accommodation for Caranua.

“We have had rent-free accommodation from 2013 until May this year,” she said.

However, in a letter dated May 10th, Seán Ó Foghlu, secretary general of the Department of Education, told the committee though Caranua had been due to leave its current Office of Public Works-managed accommodation in June 2016, the lease was extended for a year.

The OPW “advised Caranua that they would be levied for a contribution of €106,000 for this lease extension. It is understood that, to date, Caranua has paid half of this levy

 

In addition, the department said Caranua has not sought the approval of the Minister for its plan to pay almost €820,000 from the survivors’ fund for rent at a new premises, despite a requirement in the governing legislation that it do so.

Parking spaces

According to the OPW, which has sourced the new accommodation, Caranua has “agreed to pay” rent of €272,396 per year – including €9,000 a year for three parking spaces, for the next three years.

According to section 7 (7) of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012, which established Caranua: “The board, from time to time as it considers necessary for the performance of its functions and with the approval of the minister, may enter into contracts.”

Asked whether Caranua had sought the Minister’s approval to enter into a contract for new office space, a department spokeswoman, said: “While Caranua has been in regular contact with the department . . . regarding its accommodation and the necessity to move, it has not, at this time, submitted a contract in respect of its accommodation for the proposed new premises.”

The PAC, when Ms Higgins was before it last month, asked that no lease be signed for new premises until cheaper or cost-free accommodations options were explored. It remains unclear whether Caranua has signed a contract for new office space.

In response to a series of questions about the issue, from The Irish Times a spokeswoman said: “Caranua will not be making a comment on this matter.”

The OPW said it was unable to source the information before close of business on Friday.

The ongoing issues surrounding management of Caranua come as survivors continue to contact The Irish Times about feeling mistreated and “re-abused” in their interactions with the organisation.

Independents4Change TDs Clare Daly and Catherine Connolly say they are “inundated” with complaints about the body.

On Wednesday, Ms Connolly will move a motion in Dáil private members’ time on the issue, calling for measures including a review of operations at the organisation “without delay”, and negotiations between the department and the OPW to find accommodation that will not incur a cost to the survivors’ fund.

Source - https://www.google.ie/amp/s/www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/...

Views: 191

Comment by Barbie on May 22, 2017 at 18:47

Hi Maurice,

It doesn't surprise me one bit what our fund is being used for, they could be using it for sunshine holidays and no one seems to give a damn - it will end up being used up for puropses other things rather than that of survivers and we the actual survivors will be left in the wind - its like the redress all over again where the only people that actually got any money was the solicitors, barristors, judges and all their entourage.

Comment by jack colleton on May 23, 2017 at 1:55

Shared On Twitter.

Comment by jack colleton on May 23, 2017 at 1:57

"Caranua, the independent State body established to distribute religious funding to survivors of institutional abuse, has been paying for office space despite having told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) it was not."

Comment by micheal on May 23, 2017 at 10:37
not the only lie told by caranua either to the PAC, luxury hotel stays, credit cards and expenses on top of already hefty wages, complaints completely ignored, survivor's refused or access limited because of making complaints. I could go on.
Comment by William on May 23, 2017 at 11:31
Comment by jack colleton on May 23, 2017 at 15:15

Yes Indeed Michael.

Comment by jack colleton on May 23, 2017 at 15:17

William Gorry (51) has been so “traumatised” by recent comments from Caranua’s chief executive Mary Higgins, that he plans to get a loan and pay the funding he received from the organisation, back.

Comment by Rob Northall on May 25, 2017 at 6:03

Look Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

Comment by micheal on May 25, 2017 at 7:12
A mistake in information delivery ffs you told many lies to the PAC ms Higgins.
Comment by Elizabeth Nicholas on May 30, 2017 at 13:03

does caranua know anything about the new staff.   Is anyone from the UK attending the caranua visit to the Irish Embassy on the 6th July. Don't be afraid to voice your comments they will have their come uppance.

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