Wednesday 17 January 2018

Congregations urged to hand over properties

Shane Hickey and John Cooney

CATHOLIC religious orders yesterday refused to say whether they would pay their 50pc share of the redress costs for clerical sexual abuse.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn yesterday reiterated that he wanted congregations to hand over properties to the State to make up for the €375m compensation shortfall from the orders.

The Ryan Report -- which probed the horrific abuse of children in institutions run by 18 religious orders -- recommended that the orders pay half of the redress bill, which amounts to some €680m.

But so far just two orders -- the Presentation Brothers and the Sisters of St Clare -- have committed to paying their 50pc share of the costs.

None of the orders contacted by the Irish Independent yesterday undertook to pay the remaining share of the redress costs in advance of crunch talks with the Department of Education.

In one case, the Dominican Order said it believed it had offered a sufficient sum already.

The order gave a total of €6.5m over three periods last year following the sell-off of some assets.

"We believe that (our) contribution to the department was an appropriate sum in the circumstances and meets the criteria set down by the minister," a spokesman said.

On Tuesday, the Department of Education wrote to the orders seeking meetings to discuss the matter.

Irish Independent

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