Right of Place – Taxpayer is the latest abuse victim

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Cork-based charity for victims of institutional abuse, Right of Place, has been engaged in massive infighting to the extent that it is not serving the best interests of those for whom it was supposedly established

Instead, it appears to be preoccupied with allegations of bullying, unfair dismissal and assault.

Lawyers preparing to take abuse cases against Right of Place suggest that it should be closed down in order to get to the root of the organisation’s difficulties. It ought to be serving the interests of victims of institutional abuse, but the organisation seems more intent on institutionalising new forms of abuse, not the least of which is the abuse of Irish taxpayers.

Some members of staff are on sick leave due to stress and former members are claiming for unfair dismissal. One former employee was recently awarded €6,000 for unfair dismissal, but Right of Place claims that it cannot pay the award because it is insolvent.

The Health Service Executive announced it was cutting off all funding to the charity until it sorted out its issues, but it has continued to pay this dysfunctional organisation. For what?

The HSE has given Right of Place €234,900 so far in 2010, and it received a further €16,000 from the Department of Education. Thus, it has already received over a quarter of a million euro this year. In the three previous years it received an average of over €331,300 a year from the HSE.

Between 2001 and 2009 the organisation received around half of the funding paid to the survivor groups of institutional abuse. Moreover, the charity operates a €1.2m building, funded by a capital grant through the Department of the Environment.

Right of Place pays its ‘project leader’, founder, cooks, cleaners, security staff and administrative personnel. But what are they doing for the victims of institutional abuse that they are supposedly helping?

Nobody seems to be answering vital questions. The whole project is taking on aspects of a bottomless pit into which taxpayers’ money is being recklessly dumped. A spokesperson for the Department of Health says that it is considering the situation.

Right of Place recently elected a new board of directors, but one of its members says that it is in transition and past problems will have to be examined. These issues must be tackled now.

Charities are dependent on the goodwill of the public, and nothing generates donor fatigue or undermines a charity faster than the perception that those running the institution are just helping themselves, rather than assisting the people they are supposed serving.

Taking unfair advantage of the good nature of people has insidious implications for all charities, as it undermines faith and confidence in other charities, even though they may be operating in an exemplary manner.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, October 11, 2010

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10 Comments.

  1. This appears to be the only thing resembling the Charities Commission?

    http://www.revenue.ie/en/business/faqs-charities.html

    Maybe we should ask them to investigate?

  2. There is a Petition to get the Government to listen at

    http://bit.ly/dpPhkO

    The Problem here isn’t The Right Of Place; It is the HSE and their inactivity to investigate money they consider well spent!

    That is Money is unaccounted for and the HSE have the Results from Survivor Representation that they wanted???

    ie. the Statutory Fund!!

    The Petition against the Statutory Fund an be found at

    http://bit.ly/9hjMlC

    There have been reports of Monies unaccounted for with other Survivors Groups.

    Where are Ireland Charities Commissioners??

  3. but whatever member of the government who organises the funding is reponsable for this

  4. THANKS AGAIN PADDY.
    Pauline, I do believe they have been thrown out , please check with the Examiner.I have spoken with and thanked Jennifer Hough of that paper .

  5. this is awful. and should never have been allowed to happen .but who in the government allowed them funding without asking for proof of where the money was going . and we have been paying this awful person out of our compensation. its shamefull.who organisines all this . thay deserve to be trown out on thier ears

  6. amere brush-hand

    Paddy, about 3 years ago when i was living in england, i made contact with right of place with a view for seeking help about returning to live in Ireland.

    I phoned them and i ended up speaking to Noel Barry.I had just changed my telephone number and when he asked me for my number,my mind went temporaraly blank and i couldn’t remember my new number.

    I was met with this tirade of abuse from Barry demanding if there was something wrong with me!? It just threw me completely.Just this horrible, abusive, antagonistic man maquerading as an advocate for survivors abusing me on the phone. The experience shocked me.

    When two workers from right of place visited me in my flat in London about two months later,i mentioned my experience with Barry on the phone and their response was to dismiss the incident,laugh it off and make excuses that he had a bad night! What a dysfunctional,abusive, corrupt organisation they have become and what a tyranical, abusive man Barry is.

  7. We will shout S T O P .. The question is.. Will the powers that be listen?

  8. jaysus whats new
    this organisation had a serious connection with a former religious and nowhere does the word survivor feature in its establishment documents.
    true folks

  9. It’s disgraceful all that money. Anyone around here ever see a penny of that? doubt it

  10. This is the kind of news that people who were abused while in the care of religious orders and the state need to hear, bad though it may be. As I said at a meeting of the Taoiseach and Senior Government ministers as well as groups claiming to representing “victims of abuse” – we are now witnessing the abused becoming the abusers. It’s time to shout STOP!! PADDY

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