Read the Government statement following their meeting with Religious Congregations with the purpose of addressing issues arising from the Ryan report.

ryan_report

Government Statement following meeting with Religious Congregations

Thursday 4th June, 2009

I want to convey to you directly the view of the Government that further substantial contributions are required by way of reparation. Furthermore, the contributions need to be capable of being assessed by the public for their significance by reference to the full resources available to the Congregations and in a context of the costs of well over a billion euro being incurred by the State.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen

The Taoiseach, Mr Brian Cowen TD, along with Ministers Batt O’Keeffe, Dermot Ahern, Mary Harney and Minister for Children Barry Andrews, met this morning in Government Buildings with representatives of Religious Congregations to begin the process of addressing with them the issues arising from the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

At the outset, the Taoiseach pointed out that the Government had accepted that the failings of the State had clearly contributed to the conditions in which the pain and suffering experienced by thousands of children in ways documented in the Report of the Commission came about and went undetected.

However, Mr Cowen said “I must express the dismay and abhorrence which, with the whole of the population, we have experienced on reading the Report and the catalogue of suffering, deprivation and abuse which was the lot of so many children committed to institutions under the care of religious communities. While I recognise that you in leadership positions, like us in Government, are now faced with the consequences of actions and failings of those who have gone before you over earlier generations, some of the severest conclusions of the Commission regarding religious Congregations relate to recent attitudes and behaviour.

The systemic nature of the findings, and the sheer scale of the suffering endured by children and the grievous abuse of many of them while in the care of organisations represented here mean that there is a moral responsibility to be faced. I am conscious that for many of you a particular burden which arises from the Report of the Commission is the reality that the legacy of your founders, and the many who shared their ideals and followed through in a life of service, will be forever stained by the failings and abuses which are now a matter of public record.”

Financial reparation

In relation to the question of the financial aspects of the situation following publication of the Report, the Taoiseach said “I want to convey to you directly the view of the Government that further substantial contributions are required by way of reparation. Furthermore, the contributions need to be capable of being assessed by the public for their significance by reference to the full resources available to the Congregations and in a context of the costs of well over a billion euro being incurred by the State.

This call upon the Congregations has been made also by Dil ireann in a display of unanimity through a motion passed without a vote last week. I need hardly emphasise the moral force of such a call from the representatives of the people.”

Mr Cowen explained that “The purpose of this morning’s meeting is to seek your views and responses. I believe that it is important that the disposition of the Congregations be known as quickly as possible and that a comprehensive, specific response would be made known as early as possible.

The response that you will make in this difficult situation may have profound implications for the well-being of survivors of abuse in affirming their dignity. It may also influence how the Irish people, who have been so loyally supportive of your Congregations over many years, may judge finally the extent to which your organisations live up to their foundational values.”

“Accordingly, the response to the Government and the public as a whole should be clear and unequivocal,” the Taoiseach concluded.

Ends

source – www.taoiseach.gov.ie