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Catholic order pays out for abuse

The abuse happened at institutions run by religious orders
The abuse happened at institutions run by religious orders

A Catholic religious order is to supply a 161m euros (£145m) package of measures as reparation for child abuse in Ireland.

The Christian Brothers said the decision had been taken in response to the Ryan report which revealed decades of abuse at religious institutions.

The report, published in May, laid out a picture of systematic abuse.

In a statement the order said its move followed its "shame and sorrow at the findings of the Ryan Report".

"We understand and regret that nothing we say or do can turn back the clock for those affected by abuse," the statement continued.

"Our fervent hope is that the initiatives now proposed will assist in the provision of support services to former residents of the institutions as well as the facilities, resources and scope to protect, cherish and educate present and future generations of children."

Playing fields

The settlement includes a donation of 30m euros to a government trust in addition to 4m euros for counselling services.

The plan also entails the transfer of school playing fields - which the order values at 127m euros - into the joint ownership of the government and the trust which runs former Christian Brothers schools.

The order previously gave £30m euros to a redress fund.

That was part of a much-criticised 2002 deal between the government and religious orders, which capped the orders' contributions at 127m euros.

After the outrage which greeted the Ryan report the Irish government made clear that the orders would have to come up with more compensation.

'Endemic'

No real names, of perpetrators, appeared in the Ryan report after the Christian Brothers took legal action in 2004 to keep the identities of all of its members, dead or alive, out of the report.

More than 2,000 people told the commission they had suffered physical and sexual abuse as children in the institutions, which included schools and orphanages.

It found that sexual abuse was "endemic" in boys' institutions, and church leaders knew what was going on.

The report, nine years in the making and covering a period of six decades, also found government inspectors failed to stop beatings, rapes and humiliation.

More allegations were made against the Christian Brothers than the other male orders combined.

The report found child safety was not a priority for the Christian Brothers who ran the institutions, the order was defensive in its response to complaints and failed to accept any congregational responsibility for abuse.

On Thursday a separate report will be published exposing child sex abuse by Catholic priests in the Dublin Archdiocese.



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SEE ALSO
Orders 'will pay more' to victims
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Abuse report - at a glance
20 May 09 |  Northern Ireland
Irish church knew abuse 'endemic'
20 May 09 |  Europe

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