Cowen calls for review of contributions

 

The Government has called on the religious orders to provide a "substantial additional contribution" in the wake of the publication of the the Ryan commission report last Wednesday.

Apologising to victims on behalf of the State, the Taoiseach tonight called for orders to face their moral responsibilities and warned that those accountable for crimes must face the "full rigours of the law".

He said the report had found a "much more systemic volume of abuse in Institutions than was previously known or accepted by the Orders", and said the additional resources would be sought "in view of the moral responsibility they continue to hold in these matters".

The Government is planning to meet with representatives of the relevant congregations to discuss the matter.

"I acknowledge that the Christian Brothers have this afternoon indicated their willingness to commit additional resources in reparation for abuses of the past and to consult with the Government and other stakeholders in relation to how this can be achieved. I believe the other individual congregations involved should now also articulate their willingness to make a further substantial voluntary contribution," he said.

"It is deeply shameful for all Irish people that this happened in our country and that for so long it was not confronted. The failure of society in the treatment of children is laid bare in this report and it is horrendous. These children were placed in institutions by the State and the State had a duty of care to them. The victims were betrayed by the State and we must ensure that this can never, ever, happen again."

Mr Cowen said the Government had decided to accept all 20 formal recommendations in the report and was committed to their full implementation.