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Divine Intervention

Three Irish nuns had their pensions restored after intervention by the Ombudsman

The sisters’ payments stopped after they returned from Portugal to live in Ireland.

THE PENSIONS OF three Irish nuns who worked in Portugal have been restored after intervention from Ombudsman Peter Tyndall.

The nuns’ payments were stopped after they returned to live in Ireland from Portugal, where they provided education and care to disadvantaged people for decades.

After their return, the nuns said they needed their pensions paid to their religious congregation rather than their personal bank accounts, which they had closed. 

The problem arose “because the Portuguese authorities normally pay pensions directly into personal bank accounts,” the Ombudsman’s office said in a statement. 

The nuns had been without pension payments for over six months when they raised the matter with the office. 

The religious congregation in question explained to the Ombudsman that they had “great difficulties trying to resolve the problem with the Portuguese authorities as they received no replies to their letters, emails and phone calls,” Tyndall’s office said in a statement. 

Tyndall’s office then used the European Ombudsman Network to solve the matter. 

Ireland’s Ombudsman is part of a European Ombudsman Network coordinated by the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly.

The Irish Ombudsman then contacted the Portuguese Ombudsman who, in turn, contacted the Portuguese pension authorities.

Tyndall’s office said the Irish Ombudsman then arranged for a series of documents and declarations to be sent to the Portuguese Ombudsman and “finally” the Portuguese pension authorities agreed to pay the pension entitlements and the arrears that were due to the three nuns.

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