The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Religious orders still owe 75% of redress payments for abuse

€71.6 million in cash and €4.4 in property-related payments received to date

The briefing documents, prepared for Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan, reveal that €71.6 million in cash has now been received.

Pamela Duncan
First published: Sat, Sep 6, 2014, 01:00

Religious congregations have paid less than a quarter of the €352.6 million which they had agreed to contribute to redress for victims of institutional abuse, internal documents in the Department of Education reveal.

The documents, published yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act, give an overview of the payments made by 18 congregations to date.

Following the publication of the Ryan report (the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse) in May 2009 the congregations agreed to pay €352.61 million in addition to €128 million committed to under a 2002 indemnity agreement. The €352.61 million comprised €108.6 million in cash, €238 million in property and €6 million in payments for counselling, the latter of which has been fulfilled.

The briefing documents, prepared for Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan who took up her post in July, reveal that €71.6 million in cash has now been received.

Of the €238 million in property offers, €0.2 million worth has been transferred to date while some property offers were not accepted by the Government. The congregations were asked to sell some properties and provide cash, some €4.2 million of which has been received to date.


The documents also show that, as part of the €128 million indemnity agreement, the transfer of 41 of 61 agreed property transfers have now been fully completed with a value of €41.4 million. However, while work is ongoing to transfer the remaining 20 properties, it is likely that nine of them will not be of good and marketable standard.

The acceptance of these properties is currently being considered after the Government agreed in July 2013 that the Minister could accept such properties if this did not materially affect their value.
To date the religious congregations have offered to pay a total of €480.61 million in indemnity payments, however this is €244 million short of the €725 million the Government says they should pay in order to cover 50 per cent of the expected cost of redress.

The briefing documents again express the Government’s position, stating that there is a “strong moral obligation on those involved to stand up to their responsibilities”.

Separately, the documents confirm department plans to stop examination results being accessed under a proposed amendment of Freedom of Information legislation.

It says it aims to prevent the compilation of league tables in schools by proposing an amendment to section 53 of the Education Act.


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Comment by Úna Walsh on September 7, 2014 at 18:48

No surprises here, then!

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