Sinn Féin TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane has called on the religious orders to act honestly, show genuine remorse and pay the monies it owes as part of the redress scheme.
Teachta Cullinane was speaking after a report from the Comptroller and Auditor General showed that the religious orders have only paid a fraction of the monies it owes under the scheme.
He said “The Redress Scheme was established as part of the ‘Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse’ which uncovered systematic and cruel abuse of young children over decade in Irish Industrial Schools. These religious congregations had agreed to pay €352.6 million towards the cost but they then had that reduced to €192.8 million and have to date only paid €96.1 million. They have shirked and ignored their responsibilities yet again.
“This was another flimsy back door deal agreed by Fianna Fáil and continued by Fine Gael where the burden falls on the taxpayer. The buck stops with them for agreeing and implementing this deal with no legal obligation or guarantee that the costs could or would be recovered.
“It is also extremely disappointing and quite frankly unacceptable that these religious congregations have not paid their fair share.
“The lack of engagement and payment by the religious orders casts an unacceptable level of disrespect to the survivors and also to the ordinary citizens of Ireland.
“At a time of continued revelations of abuse in mother and baby homes, the discovery of mass graves in Tuam, which is frankly disgusting, has again brought this to the fore.
“I am astounded that the approach been taken by the religious orders is not being addressed at a higher level.
“I am calling on them to act honestly and honourably, to show remorse, be respectful and pay the monies outstanding immediately.”