Alan Farrell, Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal and member of the Public Accounts Committee, has called on the Catholic Church to pay its share of the spiralling costs involved in the operation of the redress scheme and child abuse inquiry.
“The total cost of the child abuse inquiry and redress, as of December 31st 2016, is €1,443 million as highlighted by the Comptroller & Auditor General this morning.
“The target was to have this cost shared equally between the State and the congregations – with both contributing €760 million.
“The congregations have failed to meet their obligations, and what one would expect to be their moral duty, in terms of their contribution to the cost of the child abuse inquiry and redress.
“The contribution of the congregations came to €193 million – not even marginally close to the €760 million which should have been paid. `
“This means that, instead of contributing €760 million, the State actually paid €1,294 million.
“In my view this is completely unacceptable.
“This suggests nothing but a blatant disregard on the part of the congregations to those who have been wronged.
“The fact is that, to date, the congregations have contributed the equivalent of 23% towards the total cost – this can simply not be allowed to stand and cannot be deemed acceptable in any way.
“Following the publication of the Ryan Report, in 2009, an offer of cash and property was made to the value of €353 million by the congregations, which was subsequently revised to €226 million in September 2015.
“However, the fact remains that, six years after the Ryan report was published, and despite the commitment by the congregations, only €85 million of that €226 million has been received by the State.
“The church still holds vast assets in this country. It is imperative that they not shirk from their responsibility to the people of Ireland, particularly the victims of institutional abuse.
“In my opinion, the fact that the congregations have failed greatly in meeting their commitments and acting to address the wrongs of the past, is simply morally unacceptable.”