‘Imminent’ redress payment delayed

‘Imminent’ redress payment delayed
Education Minister, Joe McHugh, met with the chairman and chief executive of Caranua on Tuesday.

A €6.3m contribution promised by the Christian Brothers to redress organisation Caranua has been delayed again — just weeks after the Order said the payment was “imminent”.

The delay comes a month after the Irish Examiner revealed that Caranua had informed the Department of Education that it will not have enough money to cover the cost of hundreds of outstanding funding supports for survivors of institutional abuse unless it “urgently” received the payment.

In mid-July, the Christian Brothers said the payment was “imminent”, while the department assured Caranua in June that the contribution would be paid “in the coming weeks” and it had received “verbal and written assurances” to this effect.

However, it has now emerged that an issue has arisen in relation to the sale of land owned by the Christian Brothers at Clonkeen College in Blackrock in Dublin. The Order is using the sale of the land to fund the more than €6m it owes to Caranua. As a result, the Order said that “alternative financing solutions” are being examined so the payment can be made in the “near term”.

“The Congregation had expected to be in receipt of funds arising from the sale of selected lands to facilitate immediate transfer of the Congregation’s final voluntary redress payment. As funds have not yet been received as a result of unexpected delays the Congregation is now assessing alternative interim financing solutions to facilitate payment in the near term. The Congregation remains in active dialogue with officials of the Department of Education and Skills about this matter,” said a spokesperson.

Education Minister, Joe McHugh, met with the chairman and chief executive of Caranua on Tuesday. They were then informed that an issue had arisen with the expected transfer of the outstanding contribution.

In a statement, Caranua said it “received further assurances” from the minister and his officials that the Christian Brothers “remain committed to providing the outstanding contribution of €6.37m”.

The statement read: “Caranua understands that both parties are actively engaged to finalise the payment of the outstanding contribution. Caranua has consistently raised that delays in receipt of the outstanding contribution will regrettably impact on the survivors of institutional abuse.”

The Department of Education said that a further meeting is due to take place shortly with the Christian Brothers to discuss matters relating to the completion of the outstanding contribution: “The minister has made his concerns known to the Congregation over the delay in the cash contribution and the likely impact of that delay on survivors.”

Caranua had been expected to wind down this month after it closed for applications in August of 2018.

The department has said that “there are no plans to close the fund until the full amount of the voluntary cash contribution is received”.

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