Irish Government to pursue religious orders for €250 million in unpaid compensation to abuse victims
The Cabinet of the Irish Government agreed this week to pursue religious orders for payment of the remaining €250 million needed to make up their half of the cost of €1.46 billion compensation promised to victims of horrific ill-treatment in orphanages, schools, borstals and other institutions run by Catholic monks and nuns. The amount was revised upwards from €1.36 billion after more victims came forward.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has been given the task of extracting the money from the orders.
The congregations of priests and nuns initially offered just €128 million in cash, property and counselling services as part of a controversial indemnity deal dating back to 2002. Only €106 million of this was ever realised.
Four of the eighteen orders named in the Ryan Commission that investigated the decades of abuse that was perpetrated have said they are willing to consider transferring more school buildings and other educational infrastructure on top of what has been offered.
Mr Quinn said: “The Government is obviously disappointed that the congregations have not agreed to a 50:50 share of the very considerable cost for redress. This decision represents the most pragmatic way to maximise the level of contributions to be made by the congregations and the management bodies so that the taxpayer does not bear an unreasonable burden of the costs.”
THE TEACHERS’ UNION OF IRELAND (TUI) has voted in favour of a motion that instructs its executive committee not to re-enter talks on Croke Park 2 with either government or management and to reject any imposition of proposals on its memebers.
One of the emergency motions voted on today instructs the executive committee to withdraw from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) if attempts are made to impose proposals on members.
In the event that the government or ICTU tries to impose the proposals under the new Croke Park deal on TUI members, the union has voted to ballot for industrial action including strike action.
Over 80 percent of TUI members, made up of post-primary teachers and higher education lecturers, voted to reject the proposals under the new agreement in the union’s first ballot last month.
Today the union proposed that should the government move to impose any change to conditions already rejected by members of TUI in the democratic ballot of members, members will immediately desist from participating in any or all of the following:
Croke Park discussions
School development planning
School self evaluation
Half in/Half out meetings
Any or all teacher-based assessments
Speaking to TheJournal.ie this evening Deputy General Secretary of the TUI Annette Dolan said it was now a matter of waiting for the outcome of other ballots to get an overview of members’ opinions.
Quinn is due to speak at the TUI conference in Galway tomorrow and Dolan said she expects he will be “received courteously” by members. She said the union always “made a point of engaging in a dialogue with the minister”.
Even though there are another three years to go to an election, the goose is already cooked for many Labour TDs. By Vincent Browne.
Michael McGrath, the Fianna Fáil spokesman on finance, responding to the budget on 5 December, said: “Fine Gael [in the cabinet discussions] showed that its absolute priority in the budget is to protect those who have most. We are told the Labour Party made valiant efforts to protect households dependent on social protection but, clearly, it has failed.”
Interestingly, at this point, Ruairi Quinn intervened to say: “Not so.”
Even those of us who might be sceptical about Quinn’s denials of having earlier signalled to a parliamentary Labour Party meeting that he had no confidence in Minister for Health James Reilly might be disposed to accept his word on this – ie, that Labour did not make valiant efforts to protect households depending on social protection.
McGrath went on to say: “The price Fine Gael wanted to extract for considering even a modest increase in tax for those earning more than €100,000 was to cut the most basic welfare payments. Fine Gael used the basic welfare payment of €188 per week as a negotiating chip to protect those earning more than €100,000 per year…
“In the face of this resistance from Fine Gael, the Labour Party capitulated and accepted the symbolic fig leaf of a so-called mansion tax that will affect a small number of people and bring in little additional revenue. Principles that are articulated in opposition are forgotten around the table of power.”
It is incomprehensible that the Labour Party would have agreed to break its solemn and much-advertised election promise not to allow any cut in child benefit, let alone this cut – €10 a month for the first and second child, €18 for the third child and €30 for the fourth and other children – and to do so in a way that will cause further terrible hardship to those whom Labour purports to protect.
I suspect this budget debacle was engineered in the first instance by the attempt to stop the flood of cabinet leaks that marked the lead-up to the 2012 budget a year ago, by confining the deliberations to the four ministers on the economic committee: Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin.
As Kenny and Gilmore are otherwise largely preoccupied, this left just Noonan and Howlin, both practised political disasters.
Noonan almost did in the Fine Gael party a decade ago, while Howlin – admittedly ably assisted by Alan Shatter – managed to lose the referendum on Oireachtas inquiries.
By the time other ministers became involved in the overall schema of the budget, I suspect it was too late to unpick the big decisions – particularly the decisions on PRSI, the household tax, respite care and child benefit – to protect the wealthy from increased charges or taxes. But perhaps this is a naive, benign assumption, and it certainly does not disguise the instinctual response of Fine Gael to the crisis: to afflict the afflicted and cosset the cosseted. Nor does it disguise the instinctual reflex of Labour ministers to remain in office almost at all costs, probably believing that this is somehow in the national interest.
An exacerbation of all this has been the disingenuous Labour claim that the budget involved a €500 million “wealth tax package”, whereas the true figure is €114 million in 2013 and €174 million in a full year, as Michael Taft of Unite has shown. The situation was made even worse by Gilmore and Joan Burton telling us how difficult all these decisions have been – for them.
Róisín Shortall again made a telling point at Gilmore in her contribution to the Dáil debate on the budget. She noted how the tax relief on pensions costs the exchequer €2.5 billion annually, and around 80% of this relief goes to the top 20% of income earners.
Pointedly, she asked: “On what basis does the Tánaiste believe it is any way fair that a person should be able to receive a lump sum of €200,000 tax-free? What is the basis for continuing with a regime, given that many thousands of taxpayers and others, who cannot afford to make pension provision for themselves, are in effect paying for the significant tax-free pension lump-sums of some of the wealthiest people in the country?”
It is all very dismal for Labour – made all the more so by Mario Draghi, who made it clear on 6 December that it is very much Frankfurt’s way, not Labour’s way, as far the €30 billion Anglo promissory notes are concerned. Even though there are another three years to go to an election, the goose is already cooked for many Labour TDs.
But there is a modicum of hope.
Tom O’Connor, the political scientist, has shown evidence that a left-leaning majority might be emerging (including Labour among the left). He notes that, in 1987, the left was at 15%, in 1997 at 24%, in 2007 at 25%, in 2011 at 40% and, according to the Red C poll in the Sunday Business Post on 2 December, at 43% now.
It is not entirely improbable that the left (Labour, Sinn Féin, United Left Alliance and left-leaning independents) will be close to 50%.
That might be interesting – or it might, once again, be more of the same.
Image top (the Labour Parliamentary Party at the beginning of the 31st Dáil, in March 2011): The Labour Party.
Outside the Dail tonight where Clare Daly’s ‘Savita’s Law’ bill was defeated.
There follows a complete list of TDs votes from tonight’s Bill for legislation on the X case. Contact your local representative via the email addresses we supply below if they have not represented you.
Gerry Adams (SF) voted Yes
James Bannon (FG) voted No
Seán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle) was absent/abstained
Tom Barry (FG) was absent/abstained
Richard Boyd Barrett (ULA) voted Yes
Pat Breen (FG) was absent/abstained
Thomas P. Broughan (Ind (Lab)) voted Yes
John Browne (FG) voted No
Richard Bruton (FG) was absent/abstained
Joan Burton (Lab) voted No
Ray Butler (FG) voted No
Jerry Buttimer (FG) voted No
Catherine Byrne (FG) was absent/abstained
Eric Byrne (Lab) voted No
Dara Calleary (FF) voted No
Ciarán Cannon (FG) was absent/abstained
Joe Carey (FG) voted No
Paudie Coffey (FG) voted No
Niall Collins (FF) voted No
Áine Collins (FG) voted No
Joan Collins (ULA) voted Yes
Michael Colreavy (SF) voted Yes
Michael Conaghan (Lab) voted No
Seán Conlan (FG) voted No
Paul J. Connaughton (FG) voted No
Ciara Conway (Lab) voted No
Noel Coonan (FG) voted No
Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (FG) voted No
Joe Costello (Lab) was absent/abstained
Simon Coveney (FG) voted No
Barry Cowen (FG) voted No
Michael Creed (FG) voted No
Lucinda Creighton (FG) was absent/abstained
Seán Crowe (SF) voted Yes
Jim Daly (FG) voted No
Clare Daly (ULA) voted Yes
John Deasy (FG) was absent/abstained
Jimmy Deenihan (FG) voted No
Pat Deering (FG) voted No
Regina Doherty (FG) voted No
Pearse Doherty (SF) voted Yes
Stephen S. Donnelly (Ind) voted Yes
Paschal Donohoe (FG) voted No
Timmy Dooley (FF) voted No
Robert Dowds (Lab) voted No
Andrew Doyle (FG) was absent/abstained
Bernard J. Durkan (FG) voted No
Dessie Ellis (SF) voted Yes
Damien English (FG) voted No
Alan Farrell (FG) voted No
Frank Feighan (FG) voted No
Martin Ferris (SF) voted Yes
Anne Ferris (Lab) was absent/abstained
Frances Fitzgerald (FG) voted No
Peter Fitzpatrick (FG) voted No
Charles Flanagan (FG) was absent/abstained
Terence Flanagan (FG) voted No
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Ind) voted Yes
Sean Fleming (FF) was absent/abstained
Tom Fleming (Ind) was absent/abstained
Eamon Gilmore (Lab) voted No
Noel Grealish (Ind) was absent/abstained
Brendan Griffin (FG) voted No
John Halligan (Ind) voted Yes
Dominic Hannigan (Lab) was absent/abstained
Noel Harrington (FG) voted No
Simon Harris (FG) voted No
Brian Hayes (FG) voted No
Tom Hayes (FG) was absent/abstained
Seamus Healy (ULA) voted Yes
Michael Healy-Rae (Ind) voted No
Martin Heydon (FG) voted No
Joe Higgins (ULA) voted Yes
Phil Hogan (FG) was absent/abstained
Brendan Howlin (Lab) was absent/abstained
Heather Humphreys (FG) voted No
Kevin Humphreys (Lab) voted No
Derek Keating (FG) voted No
Colm Keaveney (Lab) was absent/abstained
Paul Kehoe (FG) voted No
Billy Kelleher (FF) voted No
Alan Kelly (Lab) voted No
Enda Kenny (FG) was absent/abstained
Seán Kenny (Lab) voted No
Seamus Kirk (FG) voted No
Michael P. Kitt (FF) voted No
Seán Kyne (FG) voted No
Anthony Lawlor (FG) voted No
Michael Lowry (Ind) voted No
Kathleen Lynch (Lab) voted No
Ciarán Lynch (Lab) voted No
John Lyons (Lab) voted No
Pádraig Mac Lochlainn (SF) voted Yes
Eamonn Maloney (Lab) voted No
Micheál Martin (FF) was absent/abstained
Peter Mathews (FG) voted No
Michael McCarthy (Lab) was absent/abstained
Charlie McConalogue (FF) voted No
Mary Lou McDonald (SF) voted Yes
Shane McEntee (FG) voted No
Nicky McFadden (FG) voted No
Dinny McGinley (FG) voted No
Mattie McGrath (Ind) voted No
Finian McGrath (Ind) was absent/abstained
Michael McGrath (FG) voted No
John McGuinness (FF) was absent/abstained
Joe McHugh (FG) voted No
Sandra McLellan (SF) voted Yes
Tony McLoughlin (FG) voted No
Michael McNamara (Lab) voted No
Olivia Mitchell (FG) was absent/abstained
Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG) voted No
Michael Moynihan (FF) voted No
Michelle Mulherin (FG) voted No
Dara Murphy (FG) voted No
Eoghan Murphy (FG) voted No
Catherine Murphy (Ind) voted Yes
Gerald Nash (Lab) voted No
Denis Naughten (Ind (FG)) was absent/abstained
Dan Neville (FG) voted No
Derek Nolan (Lab) was absent/abstained
Michael Noonan (FG) voted No
Patrick Nulty (Ind (Lab)) voted Yes
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (SF) voted Yes
Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) voted No
Seán Ó Fearghaíl (FF) voted No
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Lab) voted No
Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF) voted Yes
Jonathan O’Brien (SF) voted Yes
Willie O’Dea (FF) was absent/abstained
Kieran O’Donnell (FG) voted No
Patrick O’Donovan (FG) voted No
Fergus O’Dowd (FG) was absent/abstained
John O’Mahony (FG) was absent/abstained
Joe O’Reilly (FG) voted No
Jan O’Sullivan (Lab) was absent/abstained
Maureen O’Sullivan (Ind) voted Yes
Willie Penrose (Ind (Lab)) was absent/abstained
John Perry (FG) was absent/abstained
Ann Phelan (Lab) voted No
John Paul Phelan (FG) voted No
Thomas Pringle (Ind) voted Yes
Ruairí Quinn (Lab) was absent/abstained
Pat Rabbitte (Lab) voted No
James Reilly (FG) voted No
Michael Ring (FG) voted No
Shane Ross (Ind) was absent/abstained
Brendan Ryan (Lab) voted No
Alan Shatter (FG) voted No
Sean Sherlock (Lab) was absent/abstained
Róisín Shortall (Ind (Lab)) voted No
Brendan Smith (FF) voted No
Arthur Spring (Lab) voted No
Emmet Stagg (Lab) voted No
Brian Stanley (SF) voted Yes
David Stanton (FG) voted No
Billy Timmins (FG) voted No
Peadar Tóibín (SF) was absent/abstained
Robert Troy (FG) was absent/abstained
Joanna Tuffy (Lab) voted No
Liam Twomey (FG) voted No
Leo Varadkar (FG) voted No
Jack Wall (Lab) voted No
Mick Wallace (Ind) voted Yes
Brian Walsh (FG) voted No
Alex White (Lab) voted N
Dr James Reilly the Health Minister has once again spectacularly changed his story on the site selected for a primary care site in his constituency.
Dr. Reilly claimed the decision on the site was made during Mary Harney tenure in office. Ruairí Quinn the Minister for Education backed up this claim.
Reilly now admits that this information is totally incorrect.
Enda the Time has come to sack Minister Reilly and at the same time a slap on the wrist for Master Quinn
This follows recent reports of large sums being paid out in what the Department of Education regards as unapproved payments by colleges.
Mr Quinn said he had secured Government agreement for changes to the Universities Act, which would strike a balance between university autonomy and protecting the economy at a time of crisis.
Between 2005 and 2009, around €7.5 million was paid in additional allowances by various universities to senior members of staff.
Trinity College Dublin has recently refused to implement a binding Labour Court finding under the provisions of that agreement.
Use whatever means necessary to get the money says Hogan as he stands four square with councils over student grants
Those who have not paid their household charges should not receive student grants.
They are asking people, and they are putting in place plans to get in the remaining monies that are owed to them. That’s what any businesses would do” Says Hogan.
Earlier Education Minister Ruairí Quinn added his support to the councils.
If this was, a business charges the banks would be, broke, end of story, and the people would not be paying for government and banker’s mistakes.
The legality of what the councils are doing is questionable and may not stand up if questioned before the courts.
USI president John Logue said: “The action taken by Clare County Council must be condemned in the strongest terms. This is an unprecedented move. Never have I heard of a grant being refused until proof of payment is offered for a completely unrelated tax owed by another person.
“Students are being punished for the decisions of their parents and their education is being put at risk.”
Pamela Rochford, a spokesperson for the Clare branch of the Campaign against Household and Water Taxes, accused the council of using scare tactics with the move.
Schools should be allowed to decide on the right balance between their religious ethos and the rights of staff despite plans to give legal protection to gay or divorced teachers, a Catholic schools leader has said.
Changes were proposed this year to employment law that allow schools, hospitals, and other religious-owned employers discriminate on certain grounds to protect their ethos. Unions representing staff the organisations had been lobbying for such changes.
A Department of Justice spokesperson told the Irish Examiner that arrangements are being made to set up the new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission as soon as possible and they will be asked to undertake an examination of the issue as a priority task.
However, in an article for the Jesuit journal ‘Studies’, the head of the group representing religious orders and the bishops on education issues says much of the criticism of section 37 of the Employment Equality Act is caused by misinterpretation of its intentions.
Taoiseach wants staff in schools and hospitals to work longer hours
THE Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told government ministers to include an extension of the working day and week in their submissions of “additional proposals” to significantly reduce the public sector pay and pensions bill, the Sunday Independent can reveal.
While the Government remain
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has accepted proposals for a radical restructuring of teacher training provision.
An international panel has recommended that the 19 teacher training centres be replaced by just six.
The reduction would be achieved through closures and mergers.
Under one of the recommendations, St Patrick’s College in Dublin is to be integrated along with Mater Dei into Dublin City University.
In the report, the panel suggested that this new centre be located at St Patrick’s Drumcondra campus.
Not so very long ago a little girl asked her father, Daddy Do all Fairy Tales begin with Once Upon A Time. He replied, No, there is a whole series of Fairy Tales that begin with If Elected I promise…
Do you remember the Fine Gael election Poster “let’s get Ireland working?”
Do you recall the poster “it is Labour’s way or Frankfurt’s way”? Well, we know the answer to the latter very quickly not labours way.
Do you recall Ruairí Quinn signing a pledge where he would refuse to introduce student fees? What happened, he abolished the registration fee but replaced it with a Student Contribution scheme?
For the 2012/2013 year, fees will increase from €1,500 to €2,225 with further plans to increase the fees to €3,000 in 2015.
Leo Varadkar stated that “not another red cent” would go into the banks, indicating the bondholders would take the losses since then billions have flowed into the banks courtesy of the Government.
Do you recall the election message to the struggling families of Ireland no new tax in the next budget but what happens indirect tax, raised from 21% to 23%?
In relation to the household charges in 1995, Kenny said that a household tax was “morally wrong, unfair, and unjust.” What can we say except so much for the morals of Kenny? The Labour party stated, “We’re not in favour of a tax on the family home” but when it came to implementing the tax labour turned their back on their own stated policy.
As for the back to work promises, the only observable substance to this notion was, pack your bags, and go look for employment elsewhere. What a cynical joke this was, but then again, we should have known better.
As all of this takes place, we must witness almost daily one expenses claim scandal after another.
Our Government has abandoned us the citizens to loll in the gutters of lies and broken promises. Our leadership has given us a clear a visible lesson in matters of trust. Unfortunately, one must conclude if you place your faith in your public representative be prepared for the worst.