Calls for state to investigate charity

By Jennifer Hough

Monday, May 24, 2010

THE HSE is incapable of sorting out ongoing serious difficulties in a charity for survivors of institutional abuse so the Government must now step in, it has been claimed.

Labour’s Sean Sherlock said a raft of serious question marks remained over Cork-based charity Right of Place, but despite this, it seemed to be “business as usual”.

He will raise the matter in the Dáil this week saying it is time for ministerial intervention.

Mr Sherlock said the experience of a female volunteer at the charity, Catherine Coffey, which was brought to his attention was the “straw which broke the camels back”.

Ms Coffey, a founding member of the Kerry branch of Right of Place, has made a complaint to the gardaí and the HSE over alleged threats made to her at the offices of Right of Place.

Ms Coffey is claiming she was verbally abused and threatened on several occasions by a member of the charity.

She claimed the founder of the project, Noel Barry, was allowing this to go on and claimed the charity was “dysfunctional”.

She has written letters of complaint to the HSE, the charity’s founder Noel Barry, and the head of the new committee Oliver Burke.

Mr Burke said he was aware of Ms Coffey’s claims and said she had a “genuine complaint”.

He said Right of Place needed to be investigated fully to move forward in a new era of accountability and transparency

However, Mr Burke said he now had “grave concerns” that the HSE would not tackle the real issues within Right of Place.

Mr Sherlock said there was a complete lack of transparency within the charity. He said there was a “triangular relationship” between the HSE, the department of Education and the charity, and it appeared as though Mr Barry enjoyed the support of an existing Government minister.

Mr Sherlock said if this was the case, the Government now had to answer questions about the organisation and how it was run in the past.

“The focus now has to switch to the Government and the Cabinet must make a statement. This is an issue that is not going away and needs ministerial intervention,” he said.

The organisation has been under scrutiny since late last year after the HSE ordered that its founder Mr Barry answer questions in relation to how it was spending its money. One of the country’s largest survivor groups, it has received millions in Government funding since 2002 and continues to receive money.

An Irish Examiner investigation last December revealed the group, unknown to its members, had, as well as Government funds, received hundreds of thousands from religious orders and bishops.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, May 24, 2010

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16 Comments.

  1. I ATTENDED A MEETING IN CORK ON LAST FRIDAY
    AT THE METROPOLE HOTEL,WHAT IN THE NAME OF GOD IS GOING ON,IN MY LIFE I HAVE NEVER SEEN
    SO MUCH ANGER AND FRUSTATION,GROWN MEN AND WOMEN SO CONFUSED WITH LEGAL JARGON,WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK,ALL WE WANTED TO KNOW WAS WHAT IS HAPPENING AT RIGHT OF PLACE!AGAIN WE GOT NO ANSWERS, NO SIGN OF NOEL C BARRY AS USUAL,FROM WHAT I GOT FROM THAT MEETING WAS THAT WE CAN FORGET ABOUT OUR RIGHTS AND WHAT WE WE ARE ENTITLED TO,FROM THE RELIGIOUS ORDERS AS OUR SO CALLED REPS HAVE ALL READY AGREED WITH BIFFO AND CO TO SELL US DOWN THE RIVER AND HOLD ON TO THEIR COSY JOBS AND PERKS,THEY SAT THERE AND AGREED WITH BIFFO
    THAT IT WAS ALL RIGHT TO GIVE 500.OOO MILLION
    BACK TO THE GOVERNMENT TOWARDS THE COST OF THE REDRESS BOARD,200.OOO MILLION FOR A NEW CHILDRENS HOSPITAL,A MONUMENT FOR THE SURVIVERS AND A TRUST FUND.WHO WILL IMPLEMENT THIS TRUST FUND,(BARRY AND BUCKLEY AND CO)WHEN MICHAEL O BRIEN WALKED OUT OF THE MEETING IN DISCUST ALL CAN SEE THE WAY
    C BUCKLEY TREATED HIM ON JOE DUFFYS RADIO SHOW.WE WILL HAVE TO GET RID OF THESE MONEY GRABBING PARISITES.THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING
    WE WILL BE ALL DEAD FOR GODS SAKE ACT NOW

  2. PADDY
    I SEE RIGHT OF PLACE CORK ARE HOLDING A MEETING IN THE METROPOLE HOTEL ON FRIDAY THE 18OF JUNE.AS THERE ONLY TWO OF THE LAST ELECTED COMMITTEE LEFT,WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHERS!IF WE ATTEND WE CANT PROPOSE ANY ONE FROM THE FLOOR AND CAN ONLY TALK ON THE ELECTION OF OFFICERS (ALL READY SET UP)WHAT A DICTATORSHIP NOTHING CHANGES WITH THESE GANGSTERS.TIME TO GET RID OF THE LOT OF THEM

  3. thanks for the information

  4. Icant help wondering about what chrisy said about bernados. does that mean that thay have not yet found the familys of survivers . how many years do thay need. and where have thay been looking after all we only have one planet

  5. Pauline yes the irish centre in London is still there the address is London Irish Center 50-52Camden Square London NW1 9XB.Sorry I do not if Nova in Dublin still exists.Catherine

  6. Iv emailed in the past NOVA, got back a failed email report.

  7. does anybody know if the irish centre in london is still there ., or if nova in dublin still exists. i would like to know as i am supposed to be on thier mailing lists

  8. these groups have just took over the lives of survivors and claimed they representing survivors,
    THEY ARE NOT SURVIVOR SUPPORT GROUPS THEY ARE SIMPLY SURVIVOR USER GROUPS. USING SURVIVORS TO MAKE A LIVING. HOW CAN THIS GOVERNMENT ALLOW SUCH PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT HAVE EVEN BEEN CHECKED FOR CRIMINAL BACK GROUNDS TO RUN SUCH GROUPS ON VULNERABLE PEOPLE? IT SICKENS ME. WE NEED TO PROTEST NOW. NO MORE IGNORANCE CAN BE CLAIMED BY THIS GOVERNMENT.

  9. the only thing these groups have achieved paddy is nothing for survivors treating them all as fools and pretending they are doing a job on their behalf so they have full control of their lives. has the government and religious not learnt a thing.
    these people have no right no idea no experience no mandate no heart no ears no eyes no knowledge no structure no respect no compassion no honesty there are simply non-sense.
    NOW WE NEED ANOTHER REPORT TO SEE HOW MANY OF THE 15000 SURVIVORS HAVE BEEN NEGLECTED AS ADULTS.
    WHAT A SHAM REPORTS ON OUR LIVES AS CHILDREN AND NOW THE ENDING IS THE VERY SAME.

  10. the wall we dont need your education we dont need your forced control our hopes in ashes , years of waiting he groupies leave our lives alone

  11. Agreed Andrew, it most definitely must not be allowed to happen. The question is: How do we prevent it?
    Two questions arise in my mind – important questions.
    It’s a year on since the publication of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse also known as The Ryan Report. What has happened in that time to progress what Ryan recommends.
    2. In the ten years that the “representative groups” have been running what have they achieved to the benefit of people who were abused while in the care of religious orders? Paddy

  12. …. and then there’s some self-described ‘survivor representatives’ who want control of the Religious Orders Wealth Submissions monies so that they can ‘distribute’ it.

    This mustn’t be allowed to happen.

  13. survivors are in fear of coming forward as they feel they will be given false promises or will not be allowed into the office that is their right.
    these people
    DO NOT TAKE COMPLAINTS LIKELY. SURVIVORS WILL BE LABELLED AS TROUBLE MAKERS. JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT GETTING THE VERY SUPPORT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO.
    INSINUATIONS WILL BE MADE AGAINST ANYONE WHO COMPLAINS.
    ONE SURVIVOR WHO WORKED THERE WROTE A WHOLE BOOK ON THE NEGLECT OF THIS OFFICE IT WAS IGNORED OUTRIGHT BY THE …
    ONLY ONE PAGE WAS READ OUT IN A STAFF MEETING.
    UNFORTUNATELY HE WAS ONLY BACKED BY ONE MEMBER OF STAFF. OTHERS EITHER FEARED THEIR JOBS OR ANY PROMISES MADE TO THEM.
    HOW CAN YOU MAKE A COMPLAINT AS AN INDIVIDUAL WHEN THERE ARE MORE OF THEM AND THEY ARE IN THE SEATS. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.
    THAT SURVIVOR DESERVED THE BACKING AT THE TIME.

  14. Sure why isn’t this place closed down and investigated properly by the Garda or who ever?

  15. THE WHOLE LOT OF THE GROUPS SHOULD BE QUESTIONED? None of these people have ever tried to know what it is like to read in the papers that the money intended for all of us is disappearing fast. and that we have no say as to what it is used for. This is abusive .I had never even heard of this guy, our share of the cake is what they leave and the abuse continues. It’s just under another form.

  16. The HSE and the Catholic cult have always worked hand in hand, aided and abetted abusers.

    Ms Coffey might do well to ask if those involved are graduates of Common Purpose.

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