Dear Mr Doyle,
The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Ruairí Quinn, T.D., has asked me to refer to your email of 15th April regarding the proposed Statutory Fund, the contents of which have been noted. While the Minister is unfortunately not in a position to meet with you at this time, he has asked me to outline the current position in relation to the proposed Statutory Fund.
As you are aware, following the announcement of the proposal to utilise €110 million of the contributions being offered by the religious congregations to establish a Statutory Fund to support the needs of survivors, the Department undertook a detailed consultation process. Officials met with you on 16th June, 2010 and your submission on the proposed Statutory Fund of 25th August, 2010 was considered. Meetings were held with survivor representatives, religious congregations and other interested parties. In addition, over 250 individual responses were received in response to newspaper advertisements which invited views on the specific needs facing survivors and how the Fund could operate to assist in meeting those needs. As was noted in the advertisements, the Fund 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.
Having considered the views expressed during the consultation process, the Department prepared proposals together with a General Scheme of a Bill to provide for the Statutory Fund. These proposals will now be considered by the Minister and the Government.
The position in relation to the cash contributions is that the sum of €20.6 million has been received and placed in a special interest bearing account in the Central Bank pending the establishment of the Statutory Fund. The remaining congregations are awaiting confirmation that the legislation will provide for the charitable status of their contributions to the Fund or sight of the proposed terms and structure of the Fund, prior to making their initial cash contributions. The offers of contributions envisaged that these contributions would be made over a period of years.
There will be further contact with you following the Government’s consideration of the proposals.