Irish abuse victims seek extension of redress fund

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The Irish Times – Monday, October 4, 2010

MARK HENNESSY, London Editor

IRISH VICTIMS of clerical sexual abuse living in the United Kingdom believe the compensation fund, set up with extra contributions from religious organisations, should also be used to compensate women held in the Magdalene laundries.

Meanwhile, only a minority of victims who took part in a survey expressed interest in returning to live in Ireland permanently – though a majority, particularly the older among them and those with disabilities, said they would appreciate the opportunity of coming back on funded holidays.

In a survey carried out by the Irish Women Survivors’ Support Network (UK), victims complained that the rules governing the statutory fund, which was agreed by an all-party Dáil motion in 2009 – and which is still being set up – are “lacking in significant detail”.

Spending cutbacks to come in the UK could leave some victims homeless, or living in unsatisfactory conditions, the survey notes. Over a quarter currently have problems. “This figure is likely to increase as UK economic circumstances worsen.

“Most homeowners have not recorded that they are in housing need,” according to the survey authors. However, some individuals do need urgent assistance with mortgage repayments to continue to remain in their own home, they found. The victims warned particularly, that the fund “may fail to take account of the needs of survivors” living in the UK.

“It is not clear from the Government’s proposals how the proposed statutory fund will impact on existing arrangements.”

Following difficult negotiations after the Ryan Report was published in 2009, religious congregations offered extra compensation in land and buildings valued by the Government at €348 million, on top of the original €128 million offered under the 2002 indemnity agreement. Since then, victims’ groups have been in discussion with the Government about how the €110 million – in cash – offered in the post-Ryan deal will be spent over coming years, though the detail of the non-cash part of the offer has yet to be finalised. UK survivors strongly demanded that some of their number should sit on the trust fund board, while a majority said experts in public financial administration should also be drafted on to it.

Almost 400 detailed questionnaires were distributed by the pollsters, and 122 returned. Most of those who replied, a total of 115, were women, with an average age of 64. Just over half live in London, with 24 per cent living in the southeast of England.

More than 70 per cent said they will need welfare payments from the fund; with 43 per cent seeking help both with their education and the education of their children and grandchildren. Some 76 per cent identified pensions for those over 66 as important, while 54 per cent sought annual holidays in Ireland – but only 36 per cent sought help to return to live in Ireland.

The poll showed strong support from abuse victims for the extension of the new fund to women who lived in Magdalene laundries. Some 98 of those polled believed it should; only three did not. Just over one-fifth of the victims receive regular counselling and almost half of that number has done so for up to 10 years.

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Category: The Redress Board

13 comments on “Irish abuse victims seek extension of redress fund

  1. How do i get a list of names and dates of the internees of fair street. Was there myself and vaguely remember the beatings.

  2. DO NOT TRUST IN GROUPS WHO CLAIM TO REPRESENT YOU HOW COULD THEY THEY DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE SO THIS IS A FRAUDULENT CLAIM BEWARE THOUSANDS OF SURVIVORS SUFFERED A GREAT LOSS TO THEIR CLAIMS. BY THIS SAME OLD TRICK.
    THEY ARE NOT SUPPORT GROUPS THEY NEVER WERE.
    THE TRUTH???? THE PROOF????
    THEY DO NOT KNOW WHOP YOU ARE AND WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO YOU PERSONALLY. WE ALL SHOULD HAVE HAD OUR OWN SOLICITORS FROM THE START AND THEY SHOULD HAVE FORMED A SUPPORT GROUP TO REPRESENT US TO THE LAWS OF THE LAND. IF THIS HAD HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE WE WOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED WITNESSES NOT JUST SURVIVORS AND WE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SO FRIGHTENED.

  3. Hi just giving an update as to my Dad’s case,they accepted his application and today he was seen by a psychiatrist and told that he is suffering from Post traumatic stress disorder due to the childhood that he had..I will keep you updated as well as I can
    Sara

  4. Just an update,
    We have heard from the solicitor dealing with the case that Dad’s case is in a list for the 15 th Feb so that they can exchange an update with the Redress Board on the case…any idea’s if he will be made an offer or refused on that date? help please?
    Dad has had really bad health lately and good new’s would be a welcome relief.
    Many Thank’s
    Sara.

  5. Hi Eamonn, As far as we know Dad was placed there as a baby,he was born in 1949 and he thinks he was there until around 12 before being sent to Artane,but things are very vague and we will probably find out more as the case goes on. He was under the name Patrick McDonell,but his surname he later found out is McDonald. He would definitely been in both during the same time as you. I will ring him later and see if he remembers anymore,he now lives in Northampton,England,
    Many Thank’s.
    Sara.

  6. Hi Sara.I entered The orphanage in Fair street Drogheda In 1947 and left in 1955. And was transported to Artane at 10 years old until I was Sixteen. I just wonder if your Dad was there at the same time. I would really love to know. If you would like to get in touch I would be very gratefull. Yours truely Eamonn Mc Dermott.

  7. My dad was sent to an orphanage as a baby in Drogheda and then sent onto Artane,he also fled to the UK as soon as he could as he understood that he had no family in Ireland,which many year’s later he found out he had,but has no contact now,he was also unaware of the redress board until it was too late,we have now just put in an application to the redress board as a late claim and are waiting to hear back from them.

  8. Redress ?What Redress…Put right again, restore equality, can anyone imagine tiny baby Boys sentenced to detention into Industrial schools out in the Countryside where they were locked up and Abused ,then at the age of Six or Ten transported up to Dublin to be further Detained in Artane Industrial school until they reach 16 year’s old ,to be Raped ,Tortured ,Beaten , Starved and forced into hard labour . Redress ???????These children were forced to Live with their Sadistic Abusers 24 hours a day for Most or all of their childhood’s .Goldenbridge was not far behind.

  9. Eamonn Mc Dermott, I would never have known only for the fact that a friend of mine happened to visit Ireland to buy a property in galway and just happened to hear of the redress from a farmer whose cousin had been in an Industrial school he and his family was looking after him as he was very damaged ,the redress board was Corupt and abusive , Go to the Court ,you can still do it .you could get legal aid ,get a Solicitor who has no connection to Ireland. Sorry to hear that they left you out in the cold I am sure many are in the same position around the world. Good Luck.

  10. I was sent to an orphanage in Drogheda by justice mc Carthy age two years and four months and transferred to Artane aged ten until aged sixteen. Having no family in Ireland I sailed to England as soon as I could. I wonder how many people in the same position as myself who fled.and were not in a position to know anything about the redress board until it was too late. I think it’s disgusting and very unfair that a person who went through the same problems as most others loses out on justice because of lack of information by the redress board to people in the UK who have no contact with anyone in Ireland. I was informed it was advertised in the catholic herald. I for one have had nothing to do with the catholic church since I left that hellhole. E A Mc Dermott.

  11. well pretty typical of them to deny this sort of thing

  12. I had not heard that. Where did you heard that? Someone has checked with the Bros of Charity who said they had no information. But that does not mean it is true or not.

  13. I hear that Ambrose Kelly/James Kelly the notorious paedophile Brother of Charity is dead, is that true and has it been reported

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