Conor Ryan writing in today’s Irish Examiner shows correspondence between religious orders (including the Sisters of Mercy) and the State.
In a letter to the Minister for Education dated 29/5/2012 Cóirle McCarthy, leader of the congregation states:
In the course of several letters and meetings, I have explained our position that we are not responsible for a 50:50 cost sharing. The Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy has not made any agreement with the Government to pay half of the State’s expenditure in respect of the Redress Scheme and CICA (Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse). This continues to be our position.
Our voluntary contribution in response to the Ryan Report, as contained in our Contribution Document of December 2009, is not a matter for negotiation. We will not be participating in an exercise of valuation or reckoning with the State in relation to those parts of the Contribution which the State has decided to accept, or otherwise.
We are not willing to enter negotiations with Government towards its fulfilment of the commitment which it made in its Programme for Government for the tranfer of school infrastructure, currently owned by 18 religious orders cited in the Ryan Report, at no extra cost, to the State.
Conor Ryan also reveals that 66 schools worth €412m were transferred to the Ceist Trust. CEIST (Catholic Education, an Irish Schools Trust) includes MEP and former GAA president Séan Kelly as a member and Ronan Mullen is listed as being on its board of directors.
Its website states:
CEIST engages with all people of good will to promote a preferential option for those made poor, to take action for justice, and to exercise care of the earth in a spirit of respect and welcome for diversity.
(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)