'Not one penny' paid by orders since Ryan Report
Published 15/04/2010 | 05:00
THE Government has been criticised by victims after it emerged that no extra cash has been paid by religious orders since the publication of the Ryan Report into clerical sex abuse.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern is under pressure to announce today how the Government intends to amend an indemnity deal with the orders that cost taxpayers over €1bn
He is expected to make a statement after two separate meetings with religious orders and survivors of abuse in industrial schools and orphanages.
Since the publication, almost a year ago, of the Ryan Report into institutional abuse, the Government has been under severe public criticism over a 2002 indemnity deal which capped contributions by religious orders at €128m.
The total bill is expected to be in the region of €1.3bn.
Religious orders such as the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy have proposed to make further "substantial" contributions, mainly in property and trust arrangements.
But it has emerged that no extra cash has been paid yet by 18 religious congregations. Last night the religious orders refused to comment.
However, abuse survivor Michael O'Brien told the Irish Independent: "Not one penny has been handed over since the Government set up 'a committee of three wise men' to do an inventory of the financial assets of religious congregations."
Mr O'Brien, a former mayor of Clonmel, said that his inquiries with a religious order resulted in his being told that the Government had not yet given them notice of what additional contributions it was looking for from the orders.
"I will tell the government ministers today that survivors do not want monuments of pledges of trust money.
"Survivors want money to be allocated to us for distribution to those who did not receive compensation from the Redress Board.
"If we don't get a clear answer from the ministers today, I will walk out. I will not listen to codology any more. This has been dragging on for too long."
Health Minister Mary Harney, new Education Minister Mary Coughlan and Children's Minister Barry Andrews are also expected to attend the meetings.
Mr O'Brien was speaking as he attended the opening night in the Abbey Theatre Peacock Stage of 'The Darkest Corner -- No Escape', a stage adaptation of the Ryan Report by journalist Mary Raftery, last night.