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'Quite startling': €31m of church property for redress fund yet to be transferred

€83 million of donations has been made from congregations since the Ryan Report.

Image: Shutterstock/Margaret M Stewart

SINCE 2002 €42.6 MILLION in property has been transferred from religious orders to the state as part of the abuse redress scheme.

However, a further €31 million in property remains outstanding.

Speaking in the Dáil recently, Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan noted that, under the 2002 Indemnity Agreement, the 18 participating religious congregations that ran the residential institutions investigated by the Ryan commission into child abuse, are contributing €128 million in cash, counselling services and property.

The cash contributions of €54.42 million have been received.

Social Democrat TD Róisín Shortall, who brought up the issue with O’Sullivan, has said she is surprised all of the property hasn’t been transferred.

It’s quite startling that €31 million is still outstanding … It’s quite incredible my view. I assumed that given that it has been 13 years that all of the money would have been paid by now.

A full list of the properties transferred under the 2002 agreement can be seen here.

Ryan Report

O’Sullivan said that since the Ryan Report was published in 2009, some €82.9 million from congregations has been lodged to the special investment account opened by the National Treasury Management Agency under the Residential Institution Statutory Act 2012.

The money includes associated interest and cash from property disposals.

O’Sullivan said that many of the congregations that were part of the 2002 Indemnity Agreement made voluntary offers which they valued at €348.5 million, including cash, property and other elements.

Subsequent offers and the value of a particular property offer amounted to €4.1 million, bringing the total contribution offers to €352.61 million.

O’Sullivan said that outstanding cash contributions are expected to be received from congregations between now and 2018.

The €82.9 million figure includes contributions of €81.5 million as follows:

  • Brothers of Charity: €1.5m
  • Christian Brothers: €8m
  • Daughters of Charity: €6m
  • Daughters of the Heart of Mary: €1.5m
  • De La Salle Brothers: €1m (€0.055m interest)
  • Dominican Order: €6.5m
  • Oblates of Mary Immaculate: €20m
  • Hospitaller Order of St John of God: €1m
  • Presentation Brothers: €3.6m
  • Presentation Sisters: €4m
  • Religious Sisters of Charity: €2m
  • Sisters of Our Lady of Charity: €1.5m
  • Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy: €24.9m (€1.044m interest)
  • Sisters of St Clare: €1m
  • Sisters of St Louis: €1m

O’Sullivan said her department had “agreed in principle” with the Conference of Religious of Ireland (Cori) that a total of 64 properties would be accepted subject to certain conditions such as market valuations. This number reduced to 61 as the department accepted and received a cash sum in lieu of three properties.

Some 46 properties have been fully transferred and O’Sullivan said there are “no outstanding issues”.

“Work is continuing to finalise the arrangements in relation to the remaining properties,” she added.

More information on the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund (Caranua) can be found here.

Read: Documentary about Christine Buckley ‘Dear Daughter’ to be aired tonight

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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