Further to the meeting today between Catherine Hynes, Department of Education, Catriona 0'connell Department of Social Protection and myself.
The question of the management and future of the fund was discussed in the context of My request that the limit placed on individual applications to the fund should be lifted with immediate effect pending consultation with survivors.
I made 2 requests. Firstly I I called for the dismissal of the CEO of Caranua, Mary Higgins, to help repair some of the hurt and re-abuse caused to myself and other survivors because of her remarks and management of the fund. I outlined the poor treatment we have received at the hands of Caranua and sought her removal from office because it may in some small measure help to heal the hurt caused to us and ensure the fund is administered in a manner that better reflects the objectives of the scheme, particularly the statutory commitment to provide survivors with respect, compassion and to operate it in a transparent and consistent manner.
Ms Hynes agreed with me that a series of consultation meetings be held as soon as possible and not later than September in each province of Ireland where Survivors would be invited to discuss the future and management of the scheme. A request was also made to hold such consultation meeting in the UK given that many survivors live there (estimated at 40%), cannot easily access meetings in Ireland and feel somewhat ignored. When Caranua begin to hold meetings in their new offices it is unlikely that UK survivors will be able to attend given the cost and in some cases the age and poor health of survivors. It was suggested that meetings should also be arranged in London, Manchester and Birmingham. There is the view that such an exclusion may alienate further survivors who perhaps feel removed from events in Ireland.
It was also discussed about the question of a monument and it was suggested that the best way to proceed would be to consult the 2 survivors on the memorial committee as they are best placed to give guidance and direction to the Department.
As I very eloquently articulated, it is critical that as this crucial juncture, with the balance of 30k million remaining to be distributed and in effect at the half way point with the scheme having 2 further years to run, that Survivors be involved in the decisions as to how best to decide the allocation and use of funds that were given for their benefit.
Two major changes were introduced to the scheme without consultation, despite the statutory obligation on Caranua to do so. This has had serious consequences in practical and psychological terms for Survivors, again as I explained. I would like to hear from other survivors I can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org