Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ceisteanna (170)

Jack Chambers


170. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of funding regarding Caranua; the funding received by Caranua; the funding to be received; the number of open applications with Caranua awaiting payment for services; when the Caranua fund is due to cease operations; the assurances which can be given to applicants the fund will remain open until they have received the services for which they have applied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26149/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As I explained to the Deputy in a reply to his Parliamentary Question on 10 April 2019, Caranua (the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund) is entirely funded by cash contributions offered voluntarily by religious congregations in the aftermath of the publication of the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (the "Ryan Report"). As provided for in the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 (the “2012 Act”) these cash contributions are received by my Department and are placed in an investment account established by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and are available to Caranua to meet costs incurred in supporting former residents and in meeting the organisation’s operational costs and costs associated with the independent appeals process.

The 2012 Act caps the total cash contributions that may be paid into the NTMA investment account at €110 million (excluding added or accrued interest). To date, a total of €105 million, comprising contributions of some €103.6 million plus added interest of €1.382 million, has been received by my Department. Accordingly, a further €6.4 million in cash contributions is required to achieve the capped amount of €110 million set down in statute. A substantial voluntary cash contribution remains outstanding from the Congregation of Christian Brothers.

Caranua, which is an independent statutory body, publishes regular updates on its website (www.caranua.ie) regarding expenditure, applications, etc. The most recent update shows that to end April 2019, Caranua had expended some €85 million on supports and services for former residents and that it had open applications on hands from 1,882 former residents. Administrative costs have also been incurred.

Having regard to the statutory limit on the funds available to it and the volume of applications on hands and anticipated, Caranua decided to cease to accept applications from 1 August 2018. It is now working to process those remaining applications. Its operations will be wound down during the course of 2019 and the organisation will be dissolved when it has completed the performance of its functions. It is a matter for the organisation to prudentially manage the funds available to it and to ensure that applicants are dealt with in a fair and appropriate manner having regard to the availability of funds.