“The Church Would Never Had Been Coming Up With €1.5 Billion”


Micheál Martin and Michael Woods, who signed off on the indemnity deal with the religious, at a Fianna Fáil think-in in 2009

“In retrospect in my view, that was, that was a mistake at the time.

I think there was that window. You’re talking about the last cabinet meeting [of that government]. This is something that has been negotiated. It’s in the best interests of everybody, bring it to closure and that’s how it got through.”

Micheál Martin, speaking on last night’s Redress: Breaking The Silence on RTÉ One

The June 2002 deal between Fianna Fáil and 18 religious orders, brokered by the late Michael Woods while serving as Minister for Education, awarded indemnity against all legal claims if the orders paid €128m in cash and property.

The agreement was made by Mr Woods, a devout Catholic, on behalf of Fianna Fáil, before the 2002 General Election and cabinet approval was never sought. It was also never run past the Attorney General of the day [Michael McDowell].

In March 2017, Sean O Rourke on RTÉ Radio One interviewed Mr Martin about the deal.

Seán O’Rourke: “Should the Government now, given what was revealed in Tuam, revisit the deal that was done in 2002 between the church and the then Fianna Fáil government?

You were part of it. There was the minister [for justice], Michael Woods giving the religious orders a €128million or 128million pound/punt indemnity. And, since then, the State has paid €1.5billion in restitution for the abuse. I’m not sure if the €128million, such as it was, has actually ever been delivered?”

Micheál Martín: “Well, first of all, there’s two elements of that. There’s the payments to victims of industrial schools at the time. And the redress board that was established – that would have had to be established irrespective of any deal with the church, Sean.

The church would never had been coming up with €1.5billion and the legal advice at the time, and I remember speaking to the late Rory Brady who was the Attorney General [Editor’s note: Mr Brady was appointed Attorney General after the indemnity deal was struck], he was adamant that the State would always, because of its involvement, from the inspectorial regime at the time in industrial schools – it was culpable.

And so the choice was: does one, would you leave the victims waiting and those who were in, the survivors, sorry, of industrial schools, would you leave them waiting or would you allow them have to go through the courts for years to get their justified compensation. Or would you do…”

O’Rourke: “Are you saying that was the best deal that could be done at the time?

Martin: “No I’m saying it was the most humane thing that could have been done in terms of the redress scheme…”

Full transcript here

Redress: Breaking The Silence Part 2 on RTÉ One tonight at 9.35pm


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15 thoughts on ““The Church Would Never Had Been Coming Up With €1.5 Billion”

  1. Paulus

    Yes, Woods did the state some service all right.
    And I see the large head of Terry Leyden behind him – more FF royalty.

    Good to be reminded of Martin’s former associates.

  2. Zaccone

    Absolutely ridiculous. If the Catholic church declined to come up with funds for redress then they have plenty of very valuable property in this state that could, and should, have been seized to pay their debts to society.

    1. postmanpat

      But then the government person responsible for selling the assets wouldn’t be able to show his face at mass ever again.

  3. Daisy Chainsaw

    Send in the CAB. The catholich church has hidden as much criminality as any Hutch or Kinehan

    1. postmanpat

      Never going to happen. The guards are still all devout Catholics. They never arrested priests known to everyone for bumming kids back when it was happening. An asset seize isn’t a high profile enough photo opportunity. They are too interested in grow houses and bitcoins.

      1. V

        The activity of the Catholic Church via its various affiliated orders is absolutely qualified for CAB,
        they thrived on the proceeds of Crime, they spent and distributed the proceeds of Crime, and even sent it outside the Irish Jurisdiction,
        They evaded taxes
        and they seek at all times to deny and disguise the financial rewards they enjoyed from criminal activities, as well as seal records that will prove they engaged in illegal activities for profit that they did not disclose, and this is in addition to the fraudulent claims to State bodies for services rendered.

        It should also be of interest to the Central Bank/ Revenue AML enforcement lads, which now also happens to have a new set of teeth, the Criminal Justice Acts

        And the fact that the State are assisting them in this is Collusion, and they are knowingly concealing the proceeds of Criminal Activities, so that makes them liable too under the new AML regs

        I’m over a decade calling for CAB to be deployed for this very purpose – instead you got a retired Dentist
        The labour party could have sealed a worthy legacy for themselves when Ruiri Quinn was Minister for Ed and just took back all the Schools to finalise their settlement, but nah, it was more convenient to just talk about it

        The Catholic Church is a business – always was
        And it has the privilege of being the oldest and most successful Criminal Organisation of all Time
        Its a Globalist Operation, that doesn’t even have to oblige International borders, and is only subject to its own jurisdiction – The Vatican City

        But we can do our own bit here and keep calling the Dept of Justice to AGS to CAB, and the Dept of Finance to Revenue to Central Bank etc to get on with it and Receivership their a55s till they’re all left in huts around former graveyard car parks

        1. postmanpat

          You are right. However the public will to hurt the church financially just isn’t there and never has been. It’s an attack on the one true faith: Catholicism. Given the choice, the pious public would rather lay the blame and 100% of the financial burden on the faceless government (ie: the taxpayer: ie: themselves. ) Catholic guilt in action. Look at the last census for Christ’s sake! supporting divorce/ gay marriage / abortion is one thing but actually seeing churches shutdown up and down the country is too much for plebs to witness. Maybe in another 20 years . But then again, after Covid19 the church will be the ones seen to step in and (seem to, but not really ) fix things and we will be in their debt for another generation.

          1. V

            The Paddys will never allow any religion establish such control as that crowd did and got away with

            It’ll never happen again
            No matter what faith religion whatever, or how they got here

            Organised Religious Apostles and Advocates will never be given the same establishment space and power again in Ireland

          2. postmanpat

            V. The majority of people are stupid, they will latch onto any faith that gives them comfort during a crisis. The church will run the schools and hospitals for “free” Fast forward 30 years and why does Johnny drink so much and hit his wife and kids.? Oh right! he was bummed by a priest friend of the family , who was god send after Johnny s dad died of Covid 19 . and now Johnny is angry all the time! x10000 Johnny’s up and down the country.

          3. V

            I don’t believe people, the everyday people, like meself, are stupid Pat

            I think they are treated like they are stupid by the Irish Catholic Church, Higher Public Servants, Government & the band of Governement Ministers and Political lackies, and our Media

            Basically our ruling establishment pillars

  4. LuvinLunch

    How many convictions for paedophilia were there?

    All those weirdos are still at large.

  5. Truth in the News

    We need to look behind the scenes where is Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbanus
    in all of this, it should be noted that the Minister for Finance never initialled the indemnity
    agreement, it was signed by the then Secretary of the Dept of Finance, where was the
    agreement cooked up, did the Attorney General ever see it before it was signed or
    indeed advise on it……funny how Fianna Fail tell the Shinners they are not fit for Office
    I doubt if the Shinners would have indemnified the Catholic Church to the tune of a
    Billion and Half

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