Religious congregations owe €245m in State redress

State asked bodies to pay €725 million for victims but they have offered €480 million

The 2009 Ryan Report recommended that 18 religious congregations  pay about half of the cost of the €1.5 billion redress scheme. Photograph: Alan Betson

The 2009 Ryan Report recommended that 18 religious congregations pay about half of the cost of the €1.5 billion redress scheme. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Religious congregations remain €245 million short in their contribution to a State redress scheme for survivors of residential institutions for children, which the religious congregations ran up to the 1970s.

The 2009 Ryan Report, which found there had been endemic abuse and neglect in the institutions run by 18 religious congregations, recommended that they pay about half of the cost of the €1.5 billion redress scheme.

A total contribution of some €725 million has been sought but, to date, they have offered €480 million, according to Department of Education figures provided to Independent Senator Victor Boyhan.

A response to Mr Boyhan’s query stated: “Successive Governments have adopted the position that the costs of the response to residential institutional abuse should be shared on a 50:50 basis between the State and those who managed the institutions.”

This position had “broad support across Dáil Éireann and it has been argued that there is a strong moral obligation on those involved, to deliver on their responsibilities”, the department said. The response also noted that “apart from one congregation that believes its contribution represents its 50 per cent share, the remaining congregations have either declined to comment on the appropriateness of, or disagree with the 50:50 principle”.

15,000 survivors

This follows €9 million paid in 2014. With another €9 million paid between January and June of this year, the total to date has reached almost €50 million.

According to Caranua, 3,545 survivors have now received payments and the payout works out at – on average – €14,122 each. Caranua was established under the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012.

Religious congregations who were part of the indemnity agreement in 2002, with the then government, have pledged €110 million to the fund to meet the needs of eligible survivors. The annual report states that, at the end of 2015, €85 million of this had been received, with a commitment for the balance to be received over the next two years.

Caranua is responsible for managing these funds to secure improvements in the well-being of eligible survivors, by paying for services for them.

To be eligible, individuals must have received financial redress through the Residential Institutions Redress Board (RIRB), legal settlements or the Irish courts.

The number of eligible survivors is estimated at just over 15,000. Six of every 10 of these live in Ireland, one in three in the UK and the remainder in other parts of the world, with small clusters in the United States, Australia and Canada.