Thank you for your recent email in relation to the proposed establishment of a Statutory Fund to meet the needs of survivors going forward.
I wish to advise you that, in the period following the publication of the Ryan Report, a motion was passed in the Dail on the 28th May 2009 calling on the congregations to commit to making further substantial contributions by way of reparation, in the context of discussions with the State, including to a Fund to be set up and managed by the State for the support of victims and to other education and welfare purposes. In addition to the original €128m contribution under the 2002 Indemnity Agreement, the Congregations are now offering significant additional contributions, which they have valued at €348.51m.
The Government announced its proposal to utilise the cash element of the Congregations’ current offers of contributions, which will amount to some €110m over the next few years, to establish a Statutory Fund, in keeping with the all party Motion passed by Dáil Éireann, supporting the proposal for a Trust for the support of victims and to other education and welfare purposes. Following consultation with the Congregations and the former residents as to the exact nature of the fund, how it will operate and the uses to which it will be put, the arrangements for the Statutory Fund will be considered by the Government. This Fund, which will be to support the needs of survivors, is separate and distinct from the compensation scheme operated by the independent Residential Institutions Redress Board, which provides fair and reasonable awards to victims of institutional childhood abuse. In a statement issue on 15th April last, the Government indicated that it was satisfied that the arrangements put in place have benefited survivors and it does not propose to revise the arrangements.
In terms of seeking the views of all former residents, particularly those not affiliated to any group, I can tell you that, owing to the confidential nature of the information supplied to the Residential Institutions Redress Board, the Government does not have access to the names or contact details of individuals who may have applied to the Board. However, the Government considers it appropriate to attempt to seek the views of all those wishing to contribute to this process and is currently considering how to put in place an appropriate mechanism by which the views of individuals can be conveyed.
I hope this information is of assistance to you.
Kind regards
Yours sincerely
Mary Coughlan TD
Tánaiste & Minister for Education & Skills