Fine Gael Senator and Leader of the Seanad, Jerry Buttimer, has condemned religious congregations for failing to pay their share of the redress scheme to survivors of residential institutional child abuse.
Senator Buttimer said: “I am very disappointed at the failure of the religious congregations to live up to their side of the deal.
“Government policy was, and still is, to pursue the religious congregations for their share of the costs of redress on a 50:50 basis.
“What that means is that the religious congregations would contribute €760 million. To date, what has transpired is that approximately 23% of the overall cost has been contributed. Contributions received from the congregations up to the end of 2015 represent approximately 13% of the cost.”
Deputy Buttimer continued: “It is a bit hard to listen to Deputy Micheál Martin’s comments about handing over buildings and grounds when the deal to which he was a party, as a member of the then Government, let the congregations off the hook.
“The State must look after those who were treated badly and pursue those responsible.
“We have had the Cloyne report, the Ryan report, the Murphy report and we now have the awful tragedy of the Tuam mother and baby home.
“As the Taoiseach said, how long more do we have to keep coming back to the legacies of the past? There is an obligation and duty on the current group of people in charge of religious orders and congregations to live up to the expectations of the people of the country who look to them to provide a new type of leadership.
“We can have all the commissions of investigation we want – we accept that we need them – but we also agree that responsibility must be taken and people must be accountable.
“It is about time those who are now in charge in religious orders live up to their expectation.”