Ruairí Quinn seeks extra €230m from religious orders over abuse

Government wants the funds to help cover child abuse redress costs

 Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn: ‘The response has been disappointing.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn: ‘The response has been disappointing.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 01:12

The Government will intensify efforts to secure a further €230 million from religious orders to cover the cost of institutional abuse after the official redress body indicated its work would be largely complete by the end of April.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn briefed the Cabinet yesterday on the remaining work of the Residential Institutions Redress Board, which had 468 remaining applications to process and a further 17 late submissions to consider at the end of 2013.

The board was established in 2002. With the overwhelming majority of cases to be finalised in the next two months, at an estimated cost of some €1.46 billion, attention is turning once again to the 18 religious orders concerned.

The Minister wrote to the orders in October seeking a big increase in their contribution but he was unhappy with the reply. “The response has been disappointing,” Mr Quinn’s spokeswoman said.

He expects to report back to Government on this matter in due course. There was a unanimous Dáil resolution in 2009 to seek a fair sharing of redress costs.

The orders have to date provided some €500 million between property, cash and other contributions. However, the Government believes they should provide another €230 million to bring the total to €730 million. This would constitute half the €1.46 billion, with the remainder borne by the State.

Mr Quinn presented the 2012 annual report of the redress board to the Cabinet yesterday. By the end 2012, awards of €903.8 million had been concluded with a further €166.1 million awarded in costs.