Under the terms of the Indemnity Agreement reached with the Religious Congregations on the 5th June, 2002, the Congregations agreed to make a contribution of €128 million towards the cost of the Redress Scheme. This sum was broken down as follows:
Property Transfers — €76.86m;
Cash Contribution — €41.14m;
Provision of Counselling Services — €10.00m.
In actual terms, whilst the overall figure of €128 million has not altered, the form in which it has or is to be transferred to the State has altered somewhat in terms of the property and cash contributions. The alterations to the agreed amounts have occurred where the State agreed to accept and has since received cash in lieu of properties to the value of €10.86 million. Hence, the breakdown of the contributions under the Indemnity Agreement is now as follows:
Property Transfers — €66m;
Cash Contributions — €52m;
Provision of Counselling Services — €10m.
As a result of the Indemnity Agreement, the Department has agreed in principle with CORI that a total of 64 properties would be accepted subject to good and marketable title and agreed valuations. In 2008 the Department accepted and received a cash sum (€101,600.00) in lieu of a property where good and marketable title could not be established thereby reducing the number of properties to 63. All cash contributions have been received as well as Counselling to the value of €10 million.
All the 63 properties which are subject to the Indemnity Agreement, with the exception of two, are in use or available for use by the intended recipients. Of the 63 properties, 30 are transferring to the HSE, 15 to my Department, 1 to the OPW and the remaining 17 to various voluntary bodies. These properties were earmarked for specific use by state bodies and charitable organisations for various health, education and social purposes. In the case of 44 of the properties, the properties have transferred to the intended recipients.
At 31st December 2008, good and marketable title has been established on 20 of these properties, they have been fully transferred and there are no outstanding issues. The total value of these properties is €26,790,575. One of these properties, which transferred to the HSE, was subsequently sold by the HSE in 2005, a transaction to which my Department was not a party. I can confirm that this is the only one of the total portfolio of redress properties which has been sold. A further 24 properties with a total value of €17,699,255 have been transferred to third parties who are in occupation and have the use of them but there are some outstanding legal formalities to satisfy the conditions of the Indemnity Agreement.
Finally there are 19 properties at various stages in the legal transfer process. Documents continue to be forwarded to the Chief State Solicitor's Office (CSSO) on an ongoing basis and until all of the required documents are received, good and marketable title cannot be fully established by the State. The CSSO has experienced delays in processing certain cases but, in all instances, continues to correspond with the legal representatives of those concerned in an effort to iron out any difficulties being encountered. As many of the Congregations' properties were held in complex legal structures including trusts and other legal arrangements the process of transferring these properties is complex and time consuming. In order to accelerate the process, Department officials have met the Congregations involved to request their assistance and this has resulted in significant progress. Arising from these discussions arrangements were made with the congregations for continued bilateral communication to overcome any difficulties emerging from the process.
Meetings are continuing between the Department, the Attorney General's office and the Chief State Solicitor's Office in order to finalise the legal transfer of the remaining properties. Department officials are continuing to engage with the Religious Congregations, the HSE and various voluntary bodies in order to complete the final legal transfer of the outstanding properties.