The €1.6m in settlements includes money paid to victims of former lay teacher John McClean, who is serving an eight-year sentence for indecently and sexually abusing 23 children over 17 years at Terenure College
There have been 56 allegations of abuse made against 21 members of the Carmelite Order, a spokesperson for the congregation has confirmed this evening.
To date €1.6m has been paid in settlements to 26 complainants.
All but 15 of the allegations were made against Carmelites who worked in school settings including Terenure College in Dublin and the former Carmelite College in Moate, Co Westmeath, which closed in 1996.
The allegations of abuse were made against 12 deceased members, six living members and three former members of the order.
All allegations of abuse have been reported to An Garda Síochána and the relevant authorities, the order said.
“Members of the Order who have had sexual abuse allegations made against them and are still alive are subject to a monitoring process within our safeguarding structures,” said Michael Troy, prior provincial of the order.
“The Carmelites again apologise unreservedly to each person who was abused while in our care, either in our schools or in other ministry settings.
“We know that words of apology cannot suffice for the pain and suffering endured by victims and survivors of abuse, sexual, physical, and emotional, perpetrated by Carmelites.
“We remain wholly committed to providing effective and meaningful support to those who were abused while in our care.”
The €1.6m in settlements includes money paid to victims of former lay teacher John McClean, who is serving an eight-year sentence for indecently and sexually abusing 23 children over 17 years at Terenure College.
The order said it also funds complainants’ “therapeutic and legal costs”.
“We encourage anyone who has concerns regarding child safeguarding to contact the statutory authorities, An Garda Síochána and Tusla and if they wish, the Carmelite Safeguarding Office. They will have our full support. You can contact our Safeguarding Office at: DLP@gortmuire.com,” Mr Troy added.
Earlier today, Education Minister Norma Foley said the survivors of abuse in schools must be heard.
The minister’s comments come against the background of shocking new revelations about sexual abuse at one of the country’s best known schools, Blackrock College, run by the Spiritan religious order.
There have also been more than 300 complaints made about abuse in Spiritan-run schools, including St Mary’s College and St Michael’s College in Dublin, and Rockwell College in Tipperary.
Other religious-run schools have also revealed details of sexual abuse complaints from students.
The Vincentian community said 45 allegations were made against nine priests, and 17 of these were from past students who attended Castleknock College, St Paul’s in Raheny, St Peter’s National School in Phibsborough, all in Dublin, and St Patrick’s College in Armagh.
Twenty-nine of the allegations were made against one priest.
To date the Vincentian congregation has paid out €1,015,000 in compensation and €436,150 in legal fees.
Earlier this week Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government would give consideration as to whether a public inquiry would be “the most effective way to have a victim-led approach to what went on”.
He said there was a need to “learn lessons” from previous public inquiries into clerical abuse in Ireland, which took longer than people had expected.