Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Orders chased for payout costs

Ruairi Quinn said the government is 'disappointed that the congregations have not agreed to a 50:50 share of the very considerable cost for redress'

The Government has vowed to pursue religious orders for half the 1.46 billion euro cost of compensating their victims.

The congregations which were responsible for horrific child abuse in schools, orphanages, borstals and other institutions will now be under deepening pressure to stump up the 250 million euro shortfall.

Four orders have already indicated they are willing to consider transferring more school buildings and other educational infrastructure on top of what has been offered.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said some properties will be used in the public and voluntary sectors and others sold with the proceeds used to pay for support services for survivors.

"The Government is obviously disappointed that the congregations have not agreed to a 50:50 share of the very considerable cost for redress," Mr Quinn said.

"This decision represents the most pragmatic way to maximise the level of contributions to be made by the congregations and the management bodies so that the taxpayer does not bear an unreasonable burden of the costs."

Eighteen religious orders were identified by the Ryan inquiry over the decades of abuse suffered by youngsters.

The final compensation costs includes 1.25 billion euro on the redress scheme and associated litigation and 88.6 million euro for the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

Another 110 million euro has been spent on the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund; 10 million euro on the Faoiseamh Counselling service; and 12.7 million euro to educate former residents.

The congregations of priests and nuns initially offered just 128 million euro in cash, property and counselling services as part of a controversial indemnity deal dating back to 2002. Only 106 million euro of this was ever realised.

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