Saturday, July 25, 2009

Catholic religious congregations: – more displays of scurrilous, evasive behaviour

Sean Ryan A consequence of the publication of The Ryan Report, (chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, left) into child abuse by 18 religious congregations in Ireland was that the congregations would offer more money to compensate victims.  The Irish Government made a deal with congregations in 2002 that effectively capped their contribution as €100 million.  This was before the numbers that were abused over many decades had been ascertained. 

The report was scathing in its findings, but even the week prior to its publication, the Christian Brothers were denying culpability.  When they report was published the congregations stonewalled.

The congregations met the Taoiseach on 5 June after publication and the issue of victim compensation was tabled and they agreed to pay more money into a compensation trust.  It was agreed that the congregations would provide an independent statements, authenticated by their financial advisors, of their religious position by 24 June.  While some of the smaller congregations met this deadline many of the larger congregations have missed it – yet, another example of brazen, impudent instance of thumbing their noses at society.

The Government was to have appointed a 3-person panel to evaluate these statements but has failed to do so.

The cabinet has accepted all recommendations of The Ryan Report and is to hold a press conference on Jul 28 to set out what this will mean in practice.

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