Redress organisation Cara-nua will not have enough money to cover the cost of outstanding funding supports for abuse survivors unless it “urgently” receives the €6.3m pledged by the Christian Brothers.
A spokesperson for the Order told the Irish Examiner that the payment is now “imminent”.
Caranua said that, at a meeting with Department of Education officials last month, it was assured that the outstanding contribution would be paid “in the coming weeks” and it has received “verbal and written assurances” to this effect.
“Once these funds have been received, there will be sufficient funds available to cover the projected costs of funding supports for survivors,” said a statement.
Caranua said it expects the contribution from the Christian Brothers to be made before it makes its final payments for funding supports in August.
The department declined to give a date for when the payment is expected, stating only that it will be “in the near future”. It also said that “there are no plans to close the fund until the full amount of the voluntary cash contribution is received”.
Caranua operates on the basis that the fund will have a maximum of €111.38m available to it, made up of cash contributions by the religious congregations.
However, to date, it has only received some €105.01m of this funding as the Christian Brothers still owe €6.3m.
It has already spent some €98.5m of the fund on supports for survivors (€87.5m) and operational costs (€10.9m). The projected cost of outstanding applications on hand is €11m with a further €1.67m predicted in operating costs, meaning that, without the pledged €6.3m, the current fund will not be able to cover the cost outstanding applications.
The dire financial situation facing the fund is revealed in more than a year’s worth of correspondence between Caranua and the Department of Education released under Freedom of Information.
In February, Caranua chairman, David O’Callaghan, emailed the assistant secretary-general of the Department of Education, Ned Costello, forecasting that the fund would run out by July or August.
Mr Costello warned that the organisation would have to stop making payments to survivors unless the money owed by the Christian Brothers — then some €8.3m — was not paid “immediately”. The order paid some €2m of this into the fund in May.
At a meeting between Caranua and the Department of Education that same month, the department said it “would not be in a position to provide the outstanding funding in advance to Caranua and then be reimbursed by the Christian Brothers”.
Last night, a spokesman for the Christian Brothers said they are “on target to deliver in full on its 2009 €34m voluntary pledge to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund”. He added the process is set to conclude with the imminent payment of a final cash sum from a somewhat overdue closing of a property sale.
“This will mark payment in full of all sums arising under the Congregation’s voluntary pledge post publication of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse,” the spokesman added.