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Parliamentary Questions, 11th June 2019

Department of Education and Skills – Residential Institutions Statutory Fund

Catherine Connolly

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to continue the operation of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund, Caranua, in view of the outstanding moneys due and owing from religious congregations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24125/19]

Joe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)

As the Deputy will be aware Caranua ceased to accept applications for support from former residents on 1 August 2018.  Since then, the organisation has been processing applications it has on hands.

Under section 29 of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 contributions from religious congregations towards Caranua are capped at €110 million. To date a total of €105 million, comprising contributions of some €103.6 million plus added interest of €1.382 million, has been received by my Department and made available to Caranua. Accordingly a further €6.4 million in cash contributions is required to achieve the capped amount of €110 million.

My officials are actively engaging with the Congregation of Christian Brothers in regard to the receipt of its outstanding contribution at an early date. Achievement of that outstanding contribution will ensure that the cap of €110 million provided for in the legislation will have been reached.

Caranua publishes regular updates on its website regarding expenditure, applications, etc. The most recent update shows that to end April 2019, Caranua had expended some €85 million on supports and services and that it had open applications on hands from 1,882 former residents.

It is expected that it will take a number of months for Caranua to complete the processing of the applications it has on hands. The organisation will be wound down in due course and will be dissolved when it has completed the performance of its functions.

Caranua is being kept fully informed of the position in regard to the outstanding cash contributions and it is a matter for the organisation to prudentially manage the funds available to it.

 Catherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for the balance of funds in the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund upon the wind-up of the fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24126/19]

Joe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)

Based on the information currently available to me it appears unlikely that there will be any significant balance of unspent funds remaining on the dissolution of Caranua. The position will however be kept under review and, if required, provision will be made in legislation for the usage of any remaining unspent funds.



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