By Jennifer Hough

Thursday, October 06, 2011 Irish Examiner

A STATE-FUNDED group for survivors of institutional abuse spent over €80,000 on travel and subsistence, and over €30,000 on office administration over two years.

Annual accounts filed yesterday by the Cork-based organisation Right of Place show that in 2009 and 2010, the group had expenses of €478,534 and €423,850 respectively. During 2010, the accounts show that almost €14,000 was spent on office administration, and almost €9,000 on printing, postage and stationary.

Over €7,000 was spent on legal fees. A note to the accounts shows that during 2010 a case taken against Right of Place by a former employee meant the group was ordered to pay a settlement of €6,700, as well as legal fees amounting to almost €4,000.

During 2010, Right of Place received €321,860 in grants and a one-off payment of €45,153 for redundancies and legal fees.

However, its budget has been slashed in the past year after it emerged that duplicate funding had been taking place over many years.

In the past, Right of Place was funded through grants from both the HSE and the Department of Education. Now its only source of state funding is the HSE, from which it receives about €183,000. It had sought a further €90,000 from the Department of Education.

Internal documents obtained by the Irish Examiner show that the department wrote to the HSE this year to check what money it had given to the group in order that both would not fund it for the same thing.

The department official wrote that Right of Place, which it has funded since 2001, sought funding for areas of expenditure the department had never previously funded. These included staff salaries, office rent, training and research.

Survivors had raised concern about the amount of money which groups purporting to represent them get. An estimated €34 million has been provided to groups supporting victims of institutional abuse between 2001 and 2009.

Right of Place has received €2.4m from the HSE since 2002, with a further €1m coming from the Department of Education.

The Aislinn education and support centre, set up by former Goldenbridge resident Christine Buckley, between 2007 and 2010 topped €1.1m


5 Responses to “Survivors’ group spends €80k on travel, subsistence”

  1. myself says:

    I have never had any surport nor any form of help nor advice from any of those Groups. None

  2. sean morrison says:

    You are bang on Jimmy,Clair and Evin, but nobody seems to listen, there are several maybe 11 groups, all feathering their own nests. I have preached over and over from my pulpit here up near Alaska where I am out of the loop to disband all these “Feather Pluckers” I hold no malice to anyone but this group practice has got to end. I personally volunteered my services to the Court System to help guide youngsters in the “Youth Court Justice Committee”, no expences for my travels to and from Prince George nor anything else, it was a pleasure to help and I am not a rich survivor, so to the groups I say, volunteer your help for survivors in and around your boundries, stop this noncense of travelling all over the country and to and from the UK and Ireland, it appears to me that there are groups in almost every corner of both countries to volunteer their help and advise to those of us who need help and advise in contacting the proper channels in Dublin. I guess from what I have seen that Volunteer is a dirty word to the groups. A fine article by Jennifer Hough, much more of this needs to be put out there.

  3. James Moy says:

    Amazed reading these facts and figures! Great credit to Jennifer Hough, Irish Examiner for highlighting same.

    When can Survivors expect to see an indepth list and detailed report of just how exactly all this funding was spent, and who exactly were helped or assisted by the two groups mentioned, Right of Place and the Aislinn education and support centre.
    Having received well over 4/5 million between them, over the last 9 years, there must be some Survivors who can testify to the support and help they received from these groups!

    After being requested to attend a meeting in London in order to give a vote, i enquired about the possibility of being assisted with the travel fare and meal costs that this journey would entail, from Right of Place, two years ago, but needless to say , i did not even get a reply to my request, and they went ahead regardless, but no doubt the funding Mr Walsh and his party received more than covered their air fares, hotel and meals expenses etc! But to hell with me, i was just a named Survivor on their data base that helped make up their list of so called Survivors they claimed to represent! Which in turn finances their fancy lifestyle, for them and their close family and pals.

    Jimmy UK

  4. Clair says:

    Well Paddy as the saying goes, the proof is in the Pudding
    Knew it just knew it. Now how can you spend one million +++ over three years and still not have a website? That’s what I want to know. We all knew Right of Place had their hand in the till so to speak for years, but this bombshell about Aislinn education and support. Hello, out there did you NOT hear about the EDUCATION FINANCE BOARD Remember you were on the Board. Why one million +++ for Education? Paddy have ya a spare bucket?

  5. Evin Daly says:

    Speaking recently at a meeting I made the observation that child abuse has become an industry, a business if you like. I was referring to the observation that for many it has become a cash cow – a career with all the trimmings. So much so that it is not in their interest to change the status quo. Association with the abuse of children and the victims has an aura about it that until now attracted funding and gave a large amount of sway to those ‘professionals’ who claim to represent the interests of children across all levels. These ‘professionals’ then feel justified in spending other people’s money frivolously. The people who need the money are left lacking.
    We have a Minister for Children now. Why? Nobody knows. It has no power – nor did its’ Junior Ministry predecessor – but it draws the finances needed to operate – finances that could be put to better use by One in Four for example or the ISPCC. There are many funded groups that consume cash that is needed by victims.
    Organizations who work with the abused have to be held to high standards; the people they serve deserve nothing else. The standard is this. What have they done for – and with – the money they receive? Is the product of their work measurable? Is it of value? If these questions can’t be answered clearly and positively they have mo reason to be. Right to Place paid redundancy payments – what a joke for an organization that should be scrimping to serve their clients to the best of their ability.
    I don’t like the ‘pay’ model for child abuse resources. I understand that some people have to be paid but the majority of the work should be done by volunteers. The money is for the victims.
    For example, all of what we provide is free. We provide information to parents and children – free. We promote the Guardian ad Litem programme – the free version, not the one that pays social workers so well that they have no incentive to close cases. We advocate action for children on a volunteer basis and get tons of publicity – free. Our investigation team works for nothing. Our offices are free. Our model works because there are people who will give their time and efforts to help children – lots of people who just want to be asked. They’re glad to so it.