The Shame of Ireland
about 23 hours ago
Caranua told survivors who may be eligible for funding that they must return application forms by August 1st to ensure that they can be processed.
Survivors of institutional child abuse have been told that the State organisation Caranua tasked with supporting their health, housing and other needs is to start winding down from August 1st.
In an email sent to survivor support groups on Thursday, Caranua cited financial reasons for its decision.
The organisation, established in 2012 to manage € 110 million pledged by congregations to enhance survivors’ lives, has been at the centre of controversy since March 2017 when chief executive, Mary Higgins, said some survivors “would never be happy”.
In its email, Caranua told survivors who may be eligible for funding that they must return application forms by August 1st to ensure that they can be processed.
Caranua said the decision was made taking into account a review by the Department of Education, expenditure to date, and the estimation of future possible expenditure of “the limited fund provided to Caranua to support survivors”.
The total Caranua fund is limited to €110 million. Of the €80 million already spent, more than €8 million has been gone to administration costs.
Caranua said there were more than 2,000 survivors with applications currently being processed and a large portion of the remaining fund will be spent over the course of these applications.
The Residential Institutional Survivors Network (RISN), which is a support group run by survivors, has said is it “angered” at the news.
William Gorry of RISN said no notice had been given to survivors and a significant numbers of survivors had yet to make applications to the fund.
Mr Gorry, from Moate, Co Westmeath and his siblings were taken into care after their mother left the family.
He was placed with the Sisters of Mercy at Aghanargit school in Moate, and in various “foster” homes during holidays. He was beaten and sexually abused through his childhood.
He said today’s news was “re-traumatising” for survivors of abuse and those who are dependent on the funding.
“We are completely taken aback that this is being wound down in just two months. Some of the most vulnerable people in society depend on this fund and there are many other survivors of institutional abuse who are entitled to this money who have yet to come forward,” he said.
“An elderly lady who was a victim of abuse rang me earlier in a very distressed state about the news as she can’t afford a cooker and is going hungry. I hope she can still get some funding but everything seems up in the air at the minute. The treatment of survivors is an absolute disgrace,” he said.
In a statement earlier, following a recent review of its operations, the chairman of the board of Caranua David O’Callaghan said: “We must work to ensure the remainder of the Fund provided to Caranua supports survivors in the most equitable way possible.
“We will continue to support survivors who have already applied to Caranua and we encourage survivors who may be eligible but have not yet applied to send in their application form by August 1st 2018. It is vitally important that we re-double our efforts to ensure any survivors who may be eligible come forward and apply to the fund,” he said.
Mr O’Callaghan also asked survivor support groups reach out to survivors who have yet to apply to the fund.
I am a survivor living in the UK, I successfully applied for this £12,000 or I believe €15,000, to date I have received a number of goods from my home, I have also had to pay in excess of £1000 for counselling out of my own pocket well from the fund itself, because getting an appointment with the counsellor/therapist is nearly impossible on the NHS, I am currently waiting to have cataracts removed from my eyes again because I cannot get an appointment here in the UK it could cost me 3 to £4000 from the money which I received from this font, so really at the end of the day I'm simply paying money to jump queues to try to improve my own well-being, which I suspect that if I lived in Ireland I could get this done free of charge, this is unfair, I have approximately £6000 of the balance to spend from this font, given that I will have to pay for my own cataract operations and will require continuing counselling/psychotherapy for many years to come or so I'm told it would appear that I have to pay this from the money I received from the fund, can anyone advise, while I'm grateful for the funding I think it's a little unfair to use the money to pay all my medical costs I would appreciate any feedback from anyone, thank you a survivor living in the UK
I take it that that crowd are laughing al the way to the bank, Higgins will probably be saying at last we wont be dealing with these people after August and I will have a good pension to live on.
I suppose the team will be falling into nice jobs and not have to worry about their pensions. I know a lot of us have been treated very very badly by these people, but just to say to those survivors who still need help, FIGHT ON Good luck to all xxx
1 Jun 2018
Offaly abuse survivor fumes over decision to wind up redress scheme
William Gorry, originally from Daingean, Co. Offaly, has blasted a decision to wind down Caranua, a body established by the government to provide survivors of industrial abuse in Irish institutions with supports and services.
Abuse survivor William, who heads up the Residential Institutional Survivors Network (RISN), told the Offaly Express that the decision to wind up Caranua has been sprung on them "without great notice," adding that there are a high number of survivors yet to lodge applications.
Last year, William described to us the horror of his experience at the Mount Carmel Industrial School in Moate, Co. Westmeath, run by the Sisters of Mercy, in the 1970s, and also said that Caranua had "simply continued this abuse" by treating applicants like "beggars."
Caranua had been set up in 2013 to help people who were subjected to industrial abuse in Ireland, but William and other survivors have long been disillusioned with the perceived red tape and protracted nature of their system. They also slammed the attitude of advisors from Caranua who William said portrayed survivors as money-grabbers.
Caranua had been given a fund of €110 million to account for the compensation sought by survivors, and with €80 million already spent, including over €8 million on administration costs, survivors were informed by email on Thursday, May 31, that the body is to begin winding down, due to the fact that its fund was always finite. Applications have to be lodged before August 1 in order to be processed with regard the remainder of the fund.
As per the legislation that Caranua was established under, the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund, only survivors who have received awards through the Redress Board, Irish courts or settlements with religious congregations can apply to Caranua.
Caranua cited financial reasons for its decision to begin winding down, suggesting the call was made taking account of a review by the Department of Education, expenditure to date, and the estimation of future possible expenditure of "the limited fund provided to Caranua to support survivors."
With 2,000 applications already pending, William Gorry fears for the future of survivors in this process. "I'm very curious as to why there's only €30 million left, and I think Caranua must be held accountable with regard to funding," he told the Offaly Express.
William spoke of the "dire distress" caused to survivors by the Caranua process and its ultimate closure and the doubt over their redress applications. "I spent two hours on the phone last night speaking to two survivors in desperate tears and my heart was broken for them," he said.
"We represent some of the applicants and one particular lady has been looking for a microwave and a cooker because she hasn't been able to cook for some time, but has been refused and she's totally depressed over it. She's genuinely in need and she has been refused because she has gone over a €15,000 cap," he added.
“Since the Fund and therefore the lifetime of Caranua is limited, it is crucial that we continue to build strong links with mainstream services and ensure that survivors are linked with them. We will continue to work with relevant statutory bodies, developing partnerships to work towards building awareness of the needs of survivors and helping to improve responses to those needs," Caranua stated on Thursday.
“The Board and staff of Caranua are committed to working to ensure that the remainder of the Fund is distributed as fairly as possible. We look forward to continuing our engagement with survivors through face to face outreach, public meetings, daily phone and email contact and by working with other organisations that support survivors," they continued in a statement.
William Gorry had previously secured 'survivor-led' consultation talks with the Department of Education but has said despite these being agreed to on foot of his well publicised hunger strike outside the Dáil, nothing has come of it "six months down the road."
William slammed Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, saying, "There has been a lot of trust broken and the Minister is not genuine with survivors, he's not listening to survivors and unless we hear survivor voices, nothing's going to change and we won't be able to satisfy their needs for supports."
William is now calling for an immediate meeting with Minister Bruton and his Department to ensure a survivor-led resolution to these issues. He feels it is an obligation of the Minister to deal with redress in the wake of the closure of Caranua. "We just want to get on with our lives with the supports and services we genuinely need," William commented.
Minister for Education Richard Bruton has acknowledged the imminent closure of Caranua but called on them to continue to provide for "exceptional and hardship cases" that come forward even after the August 1 deadline has passed.
I or my siblings didn't get any email or information about the winding down of the fund - my one sister heard it on the news last night and got very upset