Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD says there is an onus on members of the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills to investigate the serious concerns that have been raised regarding the operation of Caranua.

Caranua was established in 2012 in order to manage the €110m fund set aside by religious congregations to compensate survivors of institutional child abuse. The organisation assists survivors in dealing with health, housing and educational needs.

Deputy Byrne said, “In recent days we have heard a number of distressing stories of people’s individual dealings with Caranua. These people are survivors of horrific institutional child abuse and have been dealing with the impact of this abuse their entire lives. Many of the survivors are older people who have increasing needs, particularly in relation to their health.

“Serious concerns have been raised regarding the administration of the Caranua fund. Some people have been left waiting up to 18 months for cheques to be paid. Question marks have been raised over the administration costs for the fund as it has doubled its spending on wages between 2014 and 2015. Expenses claims have also risen over the same period of time.

“Survivors of institutional child abuse have rightfully queried why the administration costs are being paid out of the general compensation fund. They feel that money set aside for them is being unnecessarily squandered on administration costs. I have serious concerns that the increasing administrative costs will reduce the redress funds available to survivors.

“Caranua needs to make a comprehensive statement before the Oireachtas Education Committee to deal with these concerns. I have written to Chairperson of the Committee to request the attendance of Caranua CEO Mary Higgins in order to address these concerns,” concluded Deputy Byrne.