Mixed reaction to compensation deal
CORK VICTIMS:, SURVIVORS OF abuse at some of the institutions named in the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abusehave expressed mixed views on whether the Government should seek to renegotiate the compensation deal with religious orders which caps their contribution at €127 million.
John Barrett, who was sexually abused after entering the Brothers of Charity home at Lota in Cork as a seven-year-old in 1959, said he had always been opposed to the deal and had told the then minister for education Michael Woods back in 2002 that it was a mistake.
“I have no doubt Michael Woods thought he was getting a good deal, but it was a mistake and I said so at the time. It should have fixed at 50/50 with both the State and the religious orders each shouldering half the cost,” said Mr Barrett. “ . . . I would say to the religious orders: ‘open your hearts and let the deal be renegotiated’ ,” he added. Mr Barrett urged the Government to allow abuse survivors who had already taken cases against the orders to go back to obtain decent settlements.
Noel Barry of the group Right of Place, who was abused after entering the Rosminian-run St Patrick’s Industrial School in Upton as a 10-year-old in 1961, said the State should pick up the bulk of the compensation bill.
“My own view is that while the religious committed the atrocities . . . the State was our guardian and they failed to protect us and should therefore be liable for practically all of the claims,” he said.
Mr Barry said the religious orders had helped many survivors of clerical abuse by helping to pay for many of them who had emigrated to return to Ireland.
Michael O’Brien, who was sexually abused by Rosminian Brothers after entering their home at Ferryhouse in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, in 1942 aged eight, expressed regret that abusers weren’t named. “I’m sorry though that no one is being named and shamed and I think it’s a disgrace that the Department of Education didn’t come out with a statement to say they were sorry . . . they failed miserably in that regard.”