Ireland: religious orders agree compensation to abuse victims

Five religious orders in Ireland have agreed on compensation packages to make amends to past victims of abuse. The Christian Brothers has said they intend to donate €161m (£145m) in cash and land.

The order said yesterday they will hand over up to €30m to an Irish government trust fund, and will also give €4m for counselling services. The Christian Brothers will also transfer land valued at €127m to joint ownership of Government and the Edmund Rice Schools Trust.

In a statement the Christian Brothers said: "The range of incremental measures outlined above follow the Christian Brothers' acceptance, shame and sorrow at the findings of the Ryan Report.

"We understand and regret that nothing we say or do can turn back the clock for those affected by abuse.

"Our fervent hope is that the initiatives now proposed will assist in the provision of support services to former residents of the institutions as well as the facilities, resources and scope to protect, cherish and educate present and future generations of children."

RTE report that the Oblate Order has offered €20m, while the Presentation Brothers is offering an extra €3m. The Daughters of Charity have also announced that they are offering to contribute €10m for the benefit of abuse victims. The Sisters of Charity said last night that they have offered another €5m in additional redress.

Ireland's minister for education, Batt O'Keeffe, has urged other religious congregations that have had cases of abuse to come forward with financial offers.

A separate report into clerical child abuse in the Dublin Diocese is due to be released later today.

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