The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

A Sad Day? Survivors Betrayed by the Government! #StatutoryFundBill has been Passed on it's Second Reading

Today I believe a Very Sad Day when Survivors have been Betrayed by the Government!

The Statutory Fund Bill has been Passed on it's Second Reading

96 Votes FOR

19 Votes AGAINST

Click this Link to Read the Second Reading of the Statutory Fund Bill

I am uncertain of the Next Step as I am unfamiliar with the working of the Irish Parliament

Can anyone answer the Question

                                                 "Does the Unless the Seanad have the Power to Over Turn this?

All the I can say on the Matter is "That IF Redress Was JUST there would be no Need for the Statutory Trust Fund Bill"

Views: 925

Comment by james moy on June 15, 2012 at 16:40

Without doubt this is further abuse from the Irish Government. They failed us as Children, now again in our older years!

All our protests, suggestions , and pleas to be heard totally ignored, not allowed any say what so ever, on any of our issues, would not even answer various questions i put to them over the last two years, they are a disgrace, and this further Shame on them is of no concern to them.It seems !

Would like to know now who these four former residents are,  that are going to serve on the Board? and just exactly how they were selected? Makes me wonder do they really have their fellow survivors interests at heart? Or have they got their own agendas?

Screwed as Children, now Screwed as adults, Quinn and his mean machine are right up there with the RC Church as far as abuse goes! Some legacy to be proud of!

 

Comment by jack colleton on June 15, 2012 at 17:24

agreed if Redress was any good there would be no need for that fund

Comment by jack colleton on June 15, 2012 at 17:25

i like the spirit of your message Kenneth

Comment by jack colleton on June 15, 2012 at 17:27

seems strange to have survivors on board

Comment by jack colleton on June 15, 2012 at 17:27

ministers just do not reply

Comment by jack colleton on June 15, 2012 at 18:27

having started to read i am hoping to continue

Comment by jack colleton on June 15, 2012 at 18:27

Deputy Robert Dowds: Information on Robert Dowds  Zoom on Robert Dowds  I will be sharing time with Deputy Seán Kenny. This is an issue on which I was not originally inclined to speak, but having been approached by members of a survivors of child abuse group I decided it was appropriate to speak. It is quite far removed from any experience I have had in my life, so in a sense the more I looked at it the more it shocked me on two fronts. The first is with regard to the State. The 1916 Proclamation aspires to cherish all the children of the nation equally and sadly this story indicates the opposite. Given that religious institutions were involved, the treatment is absolutely in contradiction with the core Christian message of loving one’s neighbour as oneself. It is particularly shocking when related to those two things.

Residential abuse in Ireland represents an exceptionally dark chapter and we had a number of dark chapters in the 20th century. We are now familiar with the scars of torture that were inflicted on young children during their internment in these institutions. The abuse perpetuated in so many industrial schools operated by the Catholic Church is difficult to comprehend and quite stomach churning. The Ryan report exposed one of the blackest stains in the history of the State, including that the entire system treated children more like prison inmates and slaves than people with legal rights and human potential. Some religious officials encouraged ritual beatings and consistency shielded their orders amid a culture of self-serving secrecy. This is where the State comes in because Government inspectors failed to stop the abuses.

The entire State system, from the Garda to the Government, turned a blind eye. It is a testament to the courage and the fortitude of the victims of these institutions, three of whom I met on Monday morning, that they did not give up the fight for justice for themselves, and that finally after many years of complicity and turning a blind eye the State and the religious institutions accepted that they had wronged those who had been placed in their care. The Bill before us is the continuation of the process by which the State seeks to make amends for the abuse and the suffering it facilitated being inflicted upon a particularly vulnerable set of children.

Having known the Minister for many years, I know that the victims of this abuse will get nothing less than the highest priority when it comes to this Bill. However, I wish to bring a number of issues to his attention. Given the horrific experiences of many of the people held in these institutions, it is critical that those administering the fund must have a sufficient degree of empathy with the victims of abuse. Having spoken to some victims of abuse, I understand that there is room for improvement in this regard. Obviously, there must be safeguards in place, but at the end of the day, it must never be forgotten, in any part of the process, that the State is one of the guilty parties here, and that the victims are carrying very deep wounds and must be dealt with gently. I therefore urge the Minister to make his appointments on this matter with an extra degree of care and consideration for the needs for the victims. It is the least that the State owes them.

I have a concern over the financing of the administration of the fund. Having read the Minister’s opening speech on this debate I am somewhat unclear on the issue and would be grateful to get clarification. Victims are very concerned that any funding for the administration of the fund should come from outside sources. It would not be appropriate to fund both the administration and the reimbursements for victims from the same source of funding.

I understand that approximately 400 students who are the children of victims of the abuse have been receiving assistance to complete educational courses. They are nearly finished but may be cut off from funding before they can complete them. I urge the Minister to ensure that those who have already begun a course with the help of the Education Finance Fund can continue to be supported by the fund until they have completed their current course of education.

Former residents, who did not put in claims to the Residential Redress Board, are essentially locked out of any form of redress under the Bill. I appreciate the need for a cut-off point in this regard, but I understand from survivors groups that a substantial number of victims did not go to the redress board and should perhaps be given a second chance. I ask the Minister to clarify whether this is feasible. However, these people should be kept in mind in some way. Just because they did not claim redress from the State does not mean they have not been deeply hurt by the abuse they suffered. Perhaps they were too grievously hurt by their experiences to go through the pain of dragging it up again. Let us keep them in mind.

I wish to raise a related issue. Because I am a member of the Protestant minority, I have been approached by a number of people with connections with Bethany Home. Unfortunately, no redress has been forthcoming from the State in regard to these victims, who suffered the same sort of punishment as the people covered by the Bill. This matter is still a running sore for the victims of Bethany Home, and I ask the Minister to raise this issue with his Government colleagues. I know that the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Shatter, has being making positive sounds in this regard and I hope it will yield positive results. I want to pay tribute to Mr. Derek Leinster, Mr. Niall Meehan and their colleagues in the Bethany Homes Survivors Group, who continue to campaign for justice for all the victims in Protestant institutions. I would appreciate if the Minister could bring that back to Cabinet.

Comment by jack colleton on June 15, 2012 at 18:28

Deputy Seán Kenny: Information on Seán Kenny  Zoom on Seán Kenny  I welcome the opportunity to speak on this important Bill and I welcome the Minister’s presence in the House. The Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Bill provides for the establishment of a fund to support the needs of survivors of residential institutional child abuse. Some 15,000 former residents will be eligible to apply for support from the fund and every effort is being made to minimise the administration involved. Some former residents have advocated a simpler distribution of the available money.

Following the publication of the Ryan report in May 2009, the congregations, which managed the residential institutions and were party to the 2002 indemnity agreement, were called upon to provide further substantial contributions by way of reparation. The Government agreed to proceed with this legislation to establish a Residential Institutions Statutory Fund, to support the victims of residential institutional abuse, as endorsed by Dáil Éireann. The legislation has been prepared following a public consultation process, which included consultations with groups representing survivors of residential institutional child abuse, the religious congregations and other interested parties.

Those who received an award from the redress board or an award or settlement in court proceedings and who would otherwise have received an award from the redress board will be eligible to apply for assistance from the fund. In response to applications from eligible former residents, the fund can make arrangements for the provision of approved services and may pay grants to assist former residents to avail of approved services.

The Education Finance Board, which was established on a statutory basis in 2006 and is funded via the €12.7 million contribution provided by the religious congregations under the 2002 indemnity agreement and is specifically earmarked for educational support for former residents and their families, has almost completed the performance of its functions. The EFB will be dissolved and its staff will transfer to the statutory fund, which will assume its functions regarding the remaining moneys available to it. I agree with the Minister, Deputy Quinn, that the fund should target resources at services to support former residents’ needs, such as counselling, psychological support services, mental health services, health and personal social services, educational services and housing services. The former residents need help, and the fund exists for the purpose of helping them.

The establishment of the fund follows extensive consultations with survivors of residential abuse and a public consultation process. I met some of the survivors groups in the House in the past few days. I have also met them in my constituency when they visited me, as they did other Deputies, to discuss the situation. Seven individuals will operate the fund and it will be overseen by a chief executive answerable to the Committee of Public Accounts. It will fall within the scope of the Ombudsman and freedom of information legislation.

As responsibility for information for survivors will also be taken on by the fund, funding of survivor groups by the Department of Education and Skills will cease. It is important that this transfer of responsibilities is handled in the correct way, with no chance of mistakes or of elements of these responsibilities falling through cracks during the transfer. The fund will have the power to hold and dispose of land or an interest in land, and may acquire, hold and dispose of any other property. Two of its members will be former residents of institutions, which I welcome. The insight and experience of those who were abused in the institutions is essential. While the Residential Institutions Redress Board provides financial compensation to those who suffered abuse while resident in the institutions, the new statutory fund will focus on meeting specified needs that many survivors have as they struggle with the effects of abuse that may have taken place many years ago.

The fund will be financed from the cash contributions, of up to €110 million, offered by the religious congregations. To date, contributions of approximately €20 million have been received from the congregations towards the fund. These and the remaining contributions to be received will be invested in an investment account to be established by the National Treasury Management Agency, NTMA. The fund will take over the functions of the Education Finance Board for abuse survivors, which will be dissolved. I believe that the costs of the response to residential abuse should be shared on a 50:50 basis, between the taxpayer and those responsible for managing the institutions where the abuse took place. I understand that efforts are continuing to pursue the 50:50 division with the management bodies involved and that the transfer of school infrastructure to the State for the benefit of the taxpayer has been proposed as a mechanism to allow those involved the opportunity to shoulder their share of the costs.

It is my hope that this new fund will provide ongoing support to those who suffered as children in residential care in the State. We have let these people down in the past and we cannot be allowed to fail them again. I am anxious that this legislation be passed and implemented as soon as possible.

Comment by jack colleton on June 15, 2012 at 18:32

"Those who received an award from the redress board or an award or settlement in court proceedings and who would otherwise have received an award from the redress board will be eligible to apply for assistance from the fund."

 

but if the award was justice they would not need then to go cap in hand to the fund for assistance!

 

 

Comment by jack colleton on June 15, 2012 at 18:37

"In response to applications from eligible former residents, the fund can make arrangements for the provision of approved services and may pay grants to assist former residents to avail of approved services.

wonder what they would be and who gets to approve?  

true justice delivered and received would not need cap in hand to this fund to state the obvious

The Education Finance Board, which was established on a statutory basis in 2006 and is funded via the €12.7 million contribution provided by the religious congregations under the 2002 indemnity agreement and is specifically earmarked for educational support for former residents and their families, has almost completed the performance of its functions. The EFB will be dissolved and its staff will transfer to the statutory fund, which will assume its functions regarding the remaining moneys available to it. I agree with the Minister, Deputy Quinn, that the fund should target resources at services to support former residents’ needs, such as counselling, psychological support services, mental health services, health and personal social services, educational services and housing services. The former residents need help, and the fund exists for the purpose of helping them."

INSULT 

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