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Will religious congregations attend key meeting with Ruairí Quinn?

How much compensation the Church pays to victims of abuse in residential institutions is up for discussion.

Abuse survivor John Kelly reading the findings of the Ryan Commission in May 2009.
Abuse survivor John Kelly reading the findings of the Ryan Commission in May 2009.
Image: Press Association

UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDS A meeting due to be held today between the Minister for Education and Catholic congregations over bridging the estimated gap of €350 million in compensation to victims of children’s residential institutions implicated in the Ryan report.

Ruairí Quinn has invited 18 religious congregations, implicated in the Ryan report, to a meeting due to be held this afternoon having said that the offers by these institutions to pay a greater share of reparations to abused former residents fell short of the taxpayer contribution, according to RTÉ.

The Minister was following up on the last government’s call for these institutions to meet half of the €1.3 billion bill for victims of child abuse in residential institutions in Ireland.

He has been asking them to offset some of the taxpayer’s contribution by transferring schools to the State.

However, sources from within some of these congregations indicated to the Irish Times earlier this week that their representatives may boycott the meeting.

The Taoiseach and the Tánaiste have been among those urging religious orders to attend the meeting with Enda Kenny pointing to the “gap in the funding agreement which was signed on for by the congregations.”

However the Irish Times reports again today that it has learned that the congregations never agreed to make 50-50 contributions to State costs and points to this not being a recommendation of the Ryan report.

Read: Quinn to press ahead with religious orders meeting… will they show up? >

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Hugh O'Connell

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