Friday 20 September 2019

Christian Brothers to pay final €8.8m owed to abuse survivors' fund

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The Christian Brothers have committed to paying the final €8.8m instalment to a €110m fund for survivors of institutional abuse.

They are one of a number of religious congregations that have contributed to a statutory fund set up to pay for educational, health and housing supports for abuse victims, through Caranua.

The congregations had committed to providing €110m for additional supports for abuse survivors who had previously received awards arising from the establishment of the Redress Scheme.

The fund now stands at €101.62m, while a further €1.38m has been earned in interest and the outstanding €8.8m from the Christian Brothers - to be paid early next year - will bring the total to about €111.8m.

The surplus of €1.8m - including €400,000 from the Christian Brothers' contribution - will go towards the new National Children's Hospital, currently being built on the St James' Hospital campus, as provided for in the legislation that established the fund.

The promise of the last instalment from the Christian Brothers follows the settlement of the row of the sale of lands for housing development at Clonkeen College, Dublin.

The operation of Caranua was the focus of an Oireachtas Education Committee hearing yesterday. Ned Costello, an assistant general secretary in the Department of Education, told the committee that since Caranua began accepting applications in January 2014, it had received over 6,500 requests. To date, €78m had been spent on services for applicants and 5,000 people have benefited directly. Other applications are under consideration.

However, committee members voiced concerns about a number of issues, including success rates in appeals against decisions, the €15,000 cap on awards and practice in relation to returning calls to the freephone.

Committee chair Fiona O'Loughlin said it was likely that the committee would call for an independent investigation into the operation and management of Caranua.

Irish Independent

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