Groups hand over €20.6m of promised €350m

JUST €20.6 million of the €348.5m promised by 16 of the 18 religious congregations in the wake of the Ryan Report has been paid to date.

The Rosminian and Good Shepherd congregations said they had nothing more to contribute in addition to what they paid in 2002, as part of the €128m package agreed with all 18 congregations under the indemnity agreement.

Following the publication of the Ryan Report, 16 of the 18 Congregations offered additional contributions which they valued at €348.51m and which included various property transfer proposals, valued at €235.51m, to different state bodies and voluntary organisations.

One congregation offered 16 properties to the proposed statutory fund to support the victims of residential institutional abuse.

However, just €20.6m of this figure has been handed over, while just 12 of the properties are deemed to be of immediate potential benefit to the state.

The overall value of these properties amounts to just €60m based on the €235.51m in property valuations from the congregations. The other property offers were not considered to be of immediate interest to the state.

In relation to the offers of property to the voluntary sector, only one of the 16 properties was deemed of benefit to the state.

The remaining properties therefore cannot count as part of the contribution.

The offers of property include 49 Christian Brothers’ playing fields; St Bernard’s Group Home in Fethard, Tipperary from the Presentation Sisters; a childcare facility at Gracepark Road, in Drumcondra Dublin and the Sisters of St Clare primary school in Ballyjamesduff, Cavan, from the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity.

The Sisters of Mercy offered several schools: St Joseph’s VEC College, Carrick on Suir; the Adult Education Centre, Waterford; land at Convent Road, Cahir; Seamount Convent and College, Kinvara, Galway; Scoil Mhuire Secondary and Mercy Primary School, Ennistymon, Clare; and the Old Primary School and Hall, Trim, Meath.

The order also put forward the McAuley Centre, Kells, Meath; Beaumont Convalescent Home and grounds, north Dublin; 33 acres at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire; and St Anne’s Lenaboy Castle, Taylor’s Hill, Galway.

Only two of the 18 religious congregations responded to a call last April to improve on previous contributions in order to bridge a €200m shortfall in the compensation they are required to pay.

One congregation, the Presentation Brothers, offered to provide €1m toward the costs of the national children’s hospital and to refund some or all of its legal costs. The Sisters of St Clare have offered to transfer a former primary school.

The remaining congregations have made no additional offers to the Government.

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