Sisters of Mercy own extensive property portfolio


ORDER'S ASSETS:THE SISTERS of Mercy, cited in the Ryan report on institutional abuse, have an extensive portfolio of property and other assets, filings in the Companies Registration Office show.

The order is involved in the ownership and operation of the Mater hospital in Dublin and University Hospital, Cork, each of which have associated companies.

The order is divided into a number of provinces and they have companies that hold their properties in trust. These companies do not give values for the properties and other assets held.

Also a company called Mercy International Association Ltd, which was formed to restore the building in Baggot Street, Dublin, in which Catherine McAuley founded the order in 1831, has substantial assets.

The latest accounts on file show that in December 1997 the company had fixed assets of €5.4 million and investments of €2.9 million.

The accounts for the McAuley Trust SCP show that it held 15 properties in trust for the south central province of the order in December 2007.

The properties are residential properties in counties Carlow and Kildare and a number of convents. “The company also held investments, managed by Davy Stockbrokers,” according to the accounts. The accounts for the Mercy Trust SPC show it held four properties in Co Tipperary for the order’s south central province as of December 2007.

In December 1998 the company held 18 properties, almost all in Co Tipperary. Many do not appear in the accounts for the following year.

The Sisters of Mercy SCP Ltd held 22 convent, residential and other properties in counties Clare and Tipperary in December 2007. The company holds property for the south central province, its accounts state. The accounts show that 10 years earlier, in December 1997, the company had properties in Co Offaly as well as countries Clare and Tipperary, and also had three properties in the US. These latter were two addresses at Gulfport, Mississippi, and one at Arroyo Grande, California.

The order put €333,764 into the operations of the Mater Campus Hospital Development Ltd during 2007, which is building a hospital and car park in Eccles Street, Dublin. The company’s assets were worth €16.16 million at year’s end according to its 2007 financial accounts.

During the year it paid €45,495 to LP Financial Trustees Ltd, a company associated with Des Lamont, a director of Mater Campus. Mr Lamont and L & P Financial provide financial consulting and other services to both the Sisters of Mercy and the Christian Brothers. Mercy Care Western Province Ltd is a not for profit company that runs Our Lady’s Manor Nursing Home in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, and the Cuan Chaitriona Nursing Home in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

The company had income of €3.2 million during the year, and expenditure of €3.5 million. The order’s western province provided funds to make up the shortfall. The accounts state that during the year the company received nursing home fees of €1 million from the order, down from €1.23 million the previous year.

“Due to a number of factors including the significant costs of running and maintaining the homes in recent years, together with the likely increased financial burden of compliance within a changing regulatory environment, the directors are reviewing the long term involvement of the company in the managements of these homes,” the notes to the 2007 financial accounts state.