Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna
To the Minister for Education and Skills
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the details regarding the agreement reached with the religious orders for the transfer of assets and cash in compensation in respect of persons (details supplied); the way in which she intends to distribute same to those known victims; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
for the dreadful treatment meted out to countless children banished to their ‘care’ over several decades
Freagra – Answer
Tánaiste Mary Coughlan
At the meeting on 15th April last, the Taoiseach advised the religious congregations of the Government’s view that it would be a fair and reasonable outcome in all the circumstances for the State and those responsible for the residential institutions, to meet the final costs of responding to residential institutional abuse, which are estimated to reach some €1.36bn, on a 50:50 basis.
As the Deputy is aware the Congregations are offering significant additional contributions, which they have valued at €348.51m. While more detailed work and discussion is necessary with the Congregations in relation to the detail of their property offers, assuming these contributions are fully realised, the Congregations’ collective contributions to date, when account is taken of the original €128m contribution under the 2002 Indemnity Agreement, amount to €476.51m. This leaves a target of over €200m to reach the 50% share of the overall projected costs, of some €680m. The Government requested that additional contributions be provided to the greatest degree possible in cash as a contribution to the planned National Children’s Hospital. Officials are engaging with each of the Congregations in relation to their current offers and how the objective of a 50:50 sharing of the overall costs will be achieved.
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.