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How to Apply

Establishment of Caranua

Here you can find out more about how and why we were established.

Why did Caranua change its name from the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board?

The Caranua Board wants survivors to feel that the organisation is respectful, flexible and warm hearted and dedicated to extending support, representation and guidance. It feels that Caranua communicates this better than the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund.

What is Caranua? 

Caranua has been established by legislation to ensure that the quality of life and wellbeing of survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland is improved.  This will be done by providing eligible survivors with information, advice and advocacy, enhancing their access to their entitlements as citizens or providing grants to them to avail of services approved by Caranua.

Where can I find the legislation?

The legislation can be found here.

What is the management structure?

The organisation is independent and has a strong relationship with the  Minister for Education and Skills and that Department. The Minister appoints the members of the Board.  The Board sets strategy and hold the staff to account.  Staff implements Board decisions. The CEO attends all Board meetings but is not a member of the Board.

Do members of the Board get paid?

No, the positions are unpaid. Expenses incurred in traveling to meetings are paid according to Department of Finance rules.

Will members of the Board see my application?

No, decisions will be made by staff, not the Board. All applicants can be assured of the strictest confidence at all times.

Don’t you already know who is eligible?

Yes, we have been given the name, address and date of birth of the people who received awards through the Redress Board. These are people who are eligible to apply to us.   We cannot use this information to make contact with individuals directly.   

How much is in the fund?

€110 million has been promised.  By May 2016 €95 million of this had been received.

When will the full amount be received?

The money is coming in on a regular basis and it is the responsibility of the Minister for Education and Skills to get the balance from the congregations. Religious congregations have promised to give the balance of the money by the end of 2017.

How will the money be used?

The money will be used for services to survivors and for the operational costs of the Fund, including staff, office and other running costs.

What can it do for survivors?

The legislation sets out what assistance we can provide to survivors.  We can either contract with organisations to deliver services to survivors, or pay applicants so as they can pass it on to suppliers themselves.  

In doing this, we must make sure that we don’t duplicate what individuals are entitled to receive as citizens.  This means that we will work to ensure that survivors get what they are entitled so that this fund can be used to add to these services or provide others that are not already available.

Why can’t the money just be divided among the survivors?

Some survivor groups and individual survivors have argued that the money should be divided among the 15,000 or so survivors eligible for assistance from the Fund, but the legislation does not allow for this.

What about children of survivors?

As the legislation stands children of survivors are not eligible to apply.  The Minister has given a commitment that he will review the eligibility criteria in 2015.

What is the difference between Caranua and the Education Finance Board?

There are two differences between Caranua and the Education Finance Board:

  • The Education Finance Board provided assistance towards the cost of education only, Caranua has a wider brief
  • Survivors and their relatives were eligible to apply to the Education Finance Board.  Only survivors who have received awards through the Redress Board (or equivalent court awards) are eligible to apply to Caranua.

Why is the Education Finance Board gone?

The Education Finance Board was established in 2006 with a fund of €12.7 million. This fund was fully allocated in November 2011 and no applications were processed after this.  The Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act, 2012 provides for the Finance Board to be dissolved and all its assets and liabilities to be transferred to Caranua. 

What about the memorial for survivors?

A memorial was recommended in the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (the Ryan Report) published in 2009.  Following a consultation process, a Memorial Committee, which included survivors, was established to oversee the implementation of this recommendation and an international competition for the design of the memorial held. The winning entry, ‘Journey of Light’, was announced by the Minister for Education and Skills in July 2012.  It had been planned that the memorial would be adjacent to the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square Dublin, however An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission in November 2013 following an appeal. This means that the project cannot go ahead as planned.

Caranua was not involved in the memorial project.

Why aren’t all your accounts on your website?  I can only see those for 2013

In keeping with our commitment to transparency and accountability, we plan to publish all audited accounts.  So far, only the accounts for 2013 have been audited. Our accounts are subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General and sometimes this process can take a while.  If you have a specific query about our financial matters, please send it to info@caranua.ie and we will do our best to answer it.