Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

Orders offer abuse compensation

Child crying
Children suffered systematic abuse and neglect in Catholic-run institutions

More religious orders have offered compensation packages for victims who suffered child abuse in Catholic-run institutions in the Irish Republic.

It follows the announcement of a 161m euros package from the Christian Brothers on Wednesday, to atone for the crimes of its members.

Five more congregations have offered 43m euros in reparations between them.

An official report, published in May, found children had been systematically abused in many institutions.

Oppressive regime

The Ryan report took submissions from over 2,000 people who said they had suffered physical and sexual abuse at Catholic-run orphanages and industrial schools in the Republic of Ireland, going back many decades.

20m euros - Oblates of Mary Immaculate
10m euros - Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul
5m euros - Sisters of Charity
5m euros - Presentation Sisters
3m euros - Presentation Brothers

It painted a picture of an oppressive regime, where many children were frequently hungry, neglected and sometimes subjected to beatings and rape.

The report was greeted with public outrage and demands that religious orders contribute to a new trust fund to help former residents come to terms with their abuse.

The new fund would collect payments in addition to those already submitted by religious orders through the Republic's Residential Institutions Redress Board, which was set up in 2002 to make awards to former residents who had received injuries consistent with abuse.

In addition to the Christian Brothers, five other orders have published details of their compensation offer on their websites.

The Oblates of Mary Immaculate said they would contribute 20m euros "in reparation for failings on their part while managing St Conleth's Reformatory in Daingean, County Offaly between 1940 and 1973.

"This payment is also motivated by a desire to assist in alleviating the present needs of former pupils of St. Conleth's who are in need of help," the statement said.

'Genuine regret'

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul are to give 10m euros and said they "again unreservedly apologise to anyone who was abused and hurt while in our care as children".

The order outlined its valued assets, which total 339.2m euros, and said it would donate the 10m euros "over three years or in a shorter time, depending on how quickly the Congregation can sell properties to make up the figure promised".

The Sisters of Charity have offered 5m euros which they will pay over a five year period.

In a letter to the Irish education minister, the sisters said they "genuinely regret any suffering experienced by former residents while in institutions under our care".

The Presentation Sisters said their contribution of 5m euros was given in the context that only 1% of the claims made under the redress scheme related to their order

'Help and healing'

They also said the offer would be supplemented by their ongoing contributions to the counselling service for persons who experienced abuse and was "in addition to an earlier contribution of 5.2 m euro to the Redress Board".

The Presentation Brothers offered 3m euros, which it said represented one third of its available funds.

The order was responsible for one industrial school, St Joseph's in Greenmount, County Cork, which closed in 1959.

In a statement the brothers said they wanted to "bring help and healing to the survivors" and were "willing to co-operate with the government and others in this process".

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