Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ceisteanna (206)

Anne Rabbitte


206. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount received from religious groups to address historical child abuse; the level of funding outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26508/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Contributions from the 18 religious congregations involved in the management of most of the residential institutions in which child abuse took place, towards the costs incurred by the State in responding to abuse is being made under two rounds: the legally binding 2002 Indemnity Agreement and the voluntary offers made in 2009 in the aftermath of the publication of the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (the “Ryan Report”).

While the total cost of the State’s response will be in the region of €1.5 billion, the amounts offered by congregations total some €480.6 million. To date contributions amounting to some €231 million have been made, in the form of cash, counselling and property transfers.

Some €125 million of the €128 million provided for under the 2002 Indemnity Agreement has been fully contributed with the transfer of two properties remaining to be fully completed.

The offers made in the aftermath of the publication of the Ryan Report included cash and properties and were valued by the congregations at €352.6 m. Some €106.4 million of the €352.6 million offered has been received to date, including €103.6 million in cash together with properties valued at €2.8 million. A cash amount of €6.8 million is due from the Congregation of Christian Brothers and is expected to be received in the near future, while an additional contribution of €1 million is expected from the Presentation Brothers.

Cash contributions from the 2009 offers, not exceeding a total of €110 million, are placed in an investment account opened by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and are available to Caranua (the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund). Cash amounts in excess of the €110 million cap will go towards the costs of developing the National Children’s Hospital as will any additional contributions received specifically for that purpose.

Under the 2009 voluntary offers a total of 18 properties were accepted by the Government for transfer to a number of State bodies. The transfer of 13 of these properties has now been completed but valuations have yet to be obtained in a number of cases. The transfer of most of the remaining five properties is at an advanced stage.

One significant element of the 2009 offers relates to playing fields and associated lands, valued at €127 million, offered by the Christian Brothers. This element is complex and is the subject of ongoing engagement between my officials and the Congregation.

Finally, I can advise the Deputy that my Department provides regular updates to Dáil Éireann’s Committee of Public Accounts in regard to contribution from religious congregation. The most recent update was provided in May 2019 and is published on my Department's website at https://www.education.ie/en/Learners/Information/Former-Residents-of-Industrial-Schools/cash-property-transfers/may-2019-additional-information-provided-to-pac.pdf.