Opposition accused of 'point-scoring'

 

A Government Minister has accused the Opposition of using the publication of the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse for political ‘point scoring’.

Fine Gael had said the current coalition government was split in its response to the report released earlier this week and also argued that that the €127 million compensation deal brokered with the religious orders should have been better negotiated.

“If the deal struck in 2002 with the religious orders had included a simple review clause that kicked in once the amount offered by the orders had dropped below 50 per cent of the cost of compensation in total, the current problem of reopening negotiations on costs could have been avoided,” said Fine Gael spokesman on children Alan Shatter.

“As things stand now the religious orders are contributing approximately 10 per cent of the costs of compensation.”

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has given a commitment to examine the legal possibility of re-opening the deal with the religious orders, if his party wins the next general election.

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Eamon Ó Cuív said: “The sight of Opposition leaders trying to score party political points on the back of the unfortunate abuse victims is nothing short of sickening.

“This is especially the case when it comes from a party like Fine Gael which turned its back on the victims when it was in Government.

“The abuse indemnity agreement was motivated by one objective alone - making sure that survivors received compensation as quickly as possible and without being forced to go to court.”

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said today that all of the recommendations of the report compiled by the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse must be implemented.

“The shameful deal between the Government and the religious orders must be undone. “Capping the religious order’s contribution at a paltry €127 million is nothing short of a disgrace.”