Abusers should be brought to justice, says order


Criminal prosecutions should be brought against those guilty of abusing children, a spokesman for the Christian Brothers has said.

The congregation’s communications director Brother Edmund Garvey said: "The processes of the law and the processes of the State and of the legal system must be used to bring people to justice who perpetrated criminal actions against children.”

In an interview on BBC Radio Ulster, Brother Garvey also said the 18 orders, cited for abusing children under their care in the Ryan report, should make more resources available for compensating victims.

Former director of the Conference of Religious of Ireland (Cori) Sister Elizabeth Maxwell today admitted the controversial 2002 redress “good deal” for the congregations but that they did not “asked for favours”.

Speaking on RTE’s Marian Finucane show, Sister Maxwell said if the congregations had known what they know now about the level of abuse of children in their care, the agreement would have been different.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has sent out letters of invitation to groups representing former residents of institutions run by religious congregations to meet the Government in Dublin next Wednesday.

Similar invitations to meet the Government next Thursday were sent by him to the 18 congregations which ran the institutions.

Invitations have been sent to the Right of Place, Right to Peace, Alliance Victims’ Support, SOCA UK, SOCA Ireland, Aislinn, Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SOIA) and the Irish Survivors of Institutions, International groups.

Labour spokesman on education Ruairi Quinn called for the 18 orders to hand over ownership of primary schools to the State. He called on the Taoiseach and Ministers meeting the orders to to insist that the legal ownership of existing primary schools held by the Religious Orders be handed over.

"This would, in part, go towards their contribution to the €1.2 billion that has been spent by the Redress Board by way of compensation to the victims of abuse in industrial schools organised and run by the Religious Orders," he said.

He said the party wanted the schools, of which there could be up to 1,000, to continue as schools, funded by the Department of Education, and keep existing patron arrangements "until such time as the Patron decides to do otherwise".

In Dublin on Thursday, all 18 of the relevant religious congregations issued a joint statement after a meeting at which they repeated that they were “available to meet with An Taoiseach to explore the most effective and most appropriate ongoing response to former residents of institutions”.

Ten of the congregations had said much the same last Wednesday in response to the Taoiseach’s announcement the previous evening that he would seek a meeting with them to discuss “what further steps will now be taken in light of what has been stated in, and the conclusions of, this [Ryan] report.”

There will be “a silent march of solidarity” with former residents of the institutions in Dublin at noon on Wednesday, June 10th, from Parnell Square to the Dáil, where wreaths will be laid “in memory of the living and dead” of the institutions.