What is truth?

Liz McManus

Liz McManus
(Wicklow, Labour)

Question 22: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the matters discussed at his meeting on 4 June 2009 with representatives of the religious orders that ran institutions identified in the Ryan report in which children were abused; if the question of additional payments by the orders was discussed; his plans for further meetings with these orders; and if he will make a statement on the matter

 

Mary Upton
(Dublin South Central, Labour)

Question 24: To ask the Minister for Education and Science if, arising from his public statement on 26 May 2009, he has received a response to his call to the religious congregations to articulate their willingness to make a further substantial voluntary contribution arising from the Ryan report; if a meeting has been arranged with representatives of these congregations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 

Ruairi Quinn
(Dublin South East, Labour)

Question 166: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the matters discussed at his meeting on 4 June 2009 with representatives of the religious orders that ran institutions identified in the Ryan Report in which children were abused; if the question of additional payments by the orders was discussed; if he plans further meetings with the orders; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 

Batt O’Keeffe
(Minister, Department of Education and Science; Cork North West, Fianna Fail)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 15, 22, 24 and 166 together.

On Thursday 4th June 2009, the Taoiseach, along with myself and other Cabinet colleagues, met with representatives of the Religious Congregations to begin the process of addressing with them the issues arising from the publication of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. The Taoiseach conveyed the view of the Government and indeed the wider public that further substantial contributions are required from the Congregations by way of reparation. Furthermore, the contributions need to be capable of being assessed by the public for their significance by reference to the full resources available to the Congregations and in the context of the costs of well over a billion euro being borne by the State. The Taoiseach asked the Congregations to revert with proposals in this regard.

The same group again met with the representatives of the various religious congregations on Wednesday 24th June at which the Religious Congregations reported on the progress they had made in compiling reports on their financial positions. It is expected that reports signed off on by their financial advisors will be submitted by the congregations to the Government by mid-July when a further meeting will be held.

The Taoiseach has stated that the Government would now move to appoint a panel of three independent persons to assess the material submitted by the congregations and report to Government as to the adequacy of these statements as a basis for assessing the resources of the Congregations.

Liz McManus
(Wicklow, Labour)

Question 18: To ask the Minister for Education and Science if he will adopt the Institutional Child Abuse Bill 2009, a Private Members Bill proposed by the Labour Party; and if he will make a statement on the matter

Batt O’Keeffe
(Minister, Department of Education and Science; Cork North West, Fianna Fail)

Following the publication of the Ryan Report the Taoiseach and members of the cabinet met with representatives of the survivors of abuse. Meetings were also held with the relevant religious congregations. At these meetings and through other submission a range of matters were raised including issues such as those raised in the proposed Bill referred to in the question. These matters will be considered fully by the Government with a view to giving a comprehensive response as soon as possible.

Liz McManus
(Wicklow, Labour)

Question 177: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the redress entitlement of a child in a case where they were in an institution providing for mothers and babies, were then fostered with the agreement of the mother and then abused by their foster parent; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Batt O’Keeffe
(Minister, Department of Education and Science; Cork North West, Fianna Fail)

During the passage of the legislation governing the establishment of the Redress Scheme (Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002) through both Houses, the issue of including children who were in foster care was discussed and it was decided not to extend the legislation, as children in foster care were not in a residential institution. However, this statutory redress scheme was an additional benefit introduced by the Oireachtas for a particular category of persons and left unaffected the right of anybody to bring legal proceedings. Consequently, a person’s ineligibility to be considered for an award under the terms of the Redress Scheme does not effect their statutory right to pursue any other legal avenue which may be open to them.

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