HSE withholds funds for abuse survivor group

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is withholding funding from a Cork-based group representing survivors of institutional abuse until it can prove it can manage these monies appropriately.

Right of Place/Second Chance has been receiving funding from the HSE and other organisations since 1999.

Last year it was allocated €337,500 by the HSE, while since 2002 it has received more than €2.2m.

Members of the group raised concerns about how the funds were being managed in August and in October the HSE sought information from the group’s founder, Noel C Barry, as to the organisation’s structure and governance arrangements

A new committee has been formed within the group which is trying to take over from Mr Barry.

However, the founder has refused to accept this group and has obtained a High Court injunction preventing them from entering the Glanmire Road premises.

Responding to the allegations last night, Mr Barry said he was “utterly and totally shocked by the allegations”.

“Every cent that came into this building was audited and it went to the Comptroller and Auditor. The audits are here. My view is there is a power struggle going on. I was due to stand down anyway. I told the board that I wanted to stand down, that I had done 10 years,” he said.

Mr Barry said: “Another person wanted to take over here and I thought this cannot happen it must be done democratically.

“I had planned calling an EGM next month so the survivors would name the person to take over and that’s the way it should be done,” he added.

Mr Barry said the day the survivors told him to go he would go — “it’s as simple as that”.

A statement from the HSE read: “The HSE has a service agreement with Right of Place/Second Chance for a number of years. Funding for this service agreement is negotiated and allocated on a yearly basis. Prior to proceeding with funding arrangements for 2010, the HSE has requested details of the organisation’s structure and governance arrangements as per the requirements of the service agreement. The HSE is currently awaiting this information.”

Article courtesy of The Evening Echo newspaper.

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