Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Anne Rabbitte TD, has expressed concern over the length of time it’s taking religious institutions to pay monies owed into the Redress Scheme for historical child abuse.
The total amount to be paid by 18 religious congregations totals some €480.6 million – €352.6 million relates to the Ryan Report in 2009, while €128 million stems from the 2002 Indemnity Agreement. To date, €231 million has been paid in the form of cash, counselling, and property transfers. The State’s bill totals around €1.5 billion.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “It’s very disappointing to see the pace at which funds are being transferred. It’s just not good enough. Let’s not forget the people behind why this money is being recouped. Childhoods were robbed, and people’s lives ruined. This was a very dark period in our history and it seems some are averse to acknowledging the hurt and pain that was caused.
“We’re now ten years on from the Ryan Report and only €106.4 million has been paid by the various religious groups and we’re still awaiting €246.2 million. If you owed money to the bank, I’m not sure there would be as much leniency with such delayed repayments.
“The State has taken ownership of 13 properties around the country that were owned by religious institutions, although several valuations have yet to be obtained so we don’t even know the full extent of their values. Most of the contributions made so far actually date back to 2002, with €3 million of the €128 million under the 2002 Indemnity Agreement still outstanding.
“As per the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012, cash contributions over €110 million are going towards the development of the National Children’s Hospital. I think it’s important for the Minister for Health to make it clear for what purposes such money is being used in the hospital’s development. Considering the overruns involved with this project, there needs to be transparency around how all money is being channelled into it,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.