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Quinn insists: Religious orders must meet remaining €470 million abuse bill

The minister for education has affirmed he will continue to seek cash from the bodies which managed the residential institutions where abuse took place.

Abuse survivor Noel Brennan hangs baby shoes on the railings outside the Pro Cathedral during a demonstration in 2010.
Abuse survivor Noel Brennan hangs baby shoes on the railings outside the Pro Cathedral during a demonstration in 2010.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

EDUCATION MINISTER Ruairí Quinn has affirmed his insistence that the bodies which ran residential in which residents were abused must pay outstanding costs of around €470 million resulting from the abuse.

In a submission to the Dáil, Quinn said he would continue to pursue the institutions for their half of the bill for the abuse, which is now estimated to stand at a total of some €1.36 billion.

The statement comes as the Dáil prepares to debate legislation establishing a Residential Institutions Statutory Fund to which abuse victims can apply for assistance.

The 18 congregations involved in managing the institutions concerned contributed €128 million when the 50:50 split was agreed under an indemnity agreement in 2002.

Since then, however, the institutions have offered only €110 million – a fifth of the remaining €552 million – with only just under a fifth of that amount, €21.05 million, being received to date.

It is intended that this €110 million cash payment, once received in its entirety, will be used to finance the new fund, which will be managed and invested by the NTMA. The new fund will replace the Education Finance Board which was founded at the time of the 2002 agreement.

The congregations have also offered properties which they said were worth an estimated €235.5 million, though the State said only 12 of these properties – worth around €60 million under the values estimated by the congregations themselves – were of potential immediate benefit to the State.

These are currently being pursued by the State, leaving approximately €470 million left to pay under the 2002 agreement.

Quinn affirmed that he was continuing to pursue the 50:50 division with the management bodies involved”, and would follow up on proposals to transfer some of the institutions’ schools to the State.

This would be “one mechanism to allow those involved the opportunity to shoulder their share of the costs,” the minister said.

Read: Ombudsman: shift attention from ‘third party abuser’ to put children first

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Gavan Reilly

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