Religious Orders must compensate victims of residential abuse – Deputy Jonathan O’Brien
Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien has said it is “morally indefensible” that the religious orders are refusing to meet their obligations and pay half the compensation for victims of residential abuse.
The Cork North Central TD was responding to reports that taxpayers are being made to pay the majority of the €1.47 billion fund which has been allocated to provide redress and supports for survivors of residential abuse and he was also very critical of the 18 religious congregations for resisting contributing to the 50/50 arrangement with the State.
Deputy O’Brien said: “It is morally indefensible and unacceptable that the religious orders are refusing to meet their 50% share of the compensation costs to pay for redress for survivors of residential abuse.
“The current situation can no longer continue and at the very least the congregations must act immediately and release the balance of the €110m needed to pay for the statutory fund so that the necessary supports to help people who suffered under the ‘care’ of the religious orders can be met.
“When this legislation was debated earlier in the year, Sinn Féin put forward amendments that if accepted, would have set a date for payment by the congregations of the money needed to pay for the services covered by the statutory fund with financial penalties to be imposed should this deadline not have been met.
“Education Minister Ruairí Quinn is right to point out the moral obligations on the religious congregations to honour their past commitments but words alone are not enough.
“The religious orders that ran the care homes were so much abuse and cruelty was inflicted on some of our most vulnerable children have a collective responsibility for what happened and they must pay their share of the compensation to help the remaining survivors.”