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14 Dec 2017
Parliamentary Questions - 12th December 2017

Below are questions asked in the Oireachtas, relating to Caranua and other areas relevant to survivors

Residential Institutions Redress Scheme Eligibility

Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a person (details supplied) is eligible for support from a State agency in view of the fact that they have not been able to secure payment or compensation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Caranua, the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board, is an independent statutory body established pursuant to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 to oversee the use of the cash contributions of up to €110 million, pledged by the religious congregations, to support the needs of survivors of institutional child abuse. Eligibility for assistance from the Fund is confined to those former residents who received awards from the Residential Institutions Redress Board or similar awards or settlements in court proceedings and who would otherwise have received an award from the Redress Board. 

If the individual concerned isn't eligible to avail of services from Caranua, then he/she can't now retrospectively apply to be included in the redress scheme. While there was a redress scheme in place for people who had suffered abuse in a number of scheduled institutions, it is no longer open to new applicants. The Residential Institutions Redress Amendment Act, 2011 removed the Board's power to accept late applications received on or after the 17th September 2011.

Residential Institutions Statutory Fund

Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the refusal by Caranua to provide funeral expenses for a person (details supplied) who was a survivor of a residential institution and following five days' testimony at the commission received a payment from the redress board in view of the fact that Caranua has amended its criteria to include funeral expenses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Caranua, the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board, is an independent statutory body established pursuant to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 to oversee the use of the cash contributions of up to €110 million, pledged by the religious congregations, to support the needs of survivors of institutional child abuse. The determination of the criteria by reference to which Caranua may make decisions in respect of applications to it is a statutory function of the organisation itself and I have no role in that process. Furthermore, I have no role in Caranua’s day to day operations including in relation to the processing of individual applications. I have been informed that Caranua have explained to the individual in question the reason why they are not prepared to provide funding for funeral services. As you know, this decision and any decision of Caranua may be appealed to an independent Appeals Officer appointed under section 21 of the 2012 Act and that a person who is affected by a decision of an Appeals Officer may appeal to the High Court on a point of law.