Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Public Accounts Committee

Caranua: Financial Statements 2019

11:30 am

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats) | Oireachtas source

I remember 2017, although I think Caranua had a different CEO at the time. This matter came before the Committee of Public Accounts and there was a newspaper article at the time that reiterated the concerns some of us had. Survivors said that they were left for months without a response and were told they would get no support if they made contact again. Some of them were in tears and felt retraumatised. That was the kind of stuff that was said, to the point that a solicitor was working with a group of about 40 survivors who said they wanted Caranua wound down. That was what was said. When we talk about survivors, we are talking about people who survived Artane, Goldenbridge, Letterfrack and the myriad other locations. The reality of it is that these are people who are not prone to complaining. People did not survive if they complained.

I am getting angry sitting here this morning. I have never seen a more defensive response to a committee regarding complaints. Legitimate complaints were made by people. There are many people within that survivor group who will not complain but that does not mean there is not dissatisfaction. It should be acknowledged that there is dissatisfaction. This is a very different group. This money that was provided by the congregations was not about philanthropy. It was in return for work people did and that work was done because they were not educated. They worked instead of being educated and they have high levels of illiteracy. I know some of these people and so do some of the rest of us. I just do not think this defensive approach is fair to those people. I rarely get as angry as I have while sat here and I have been getting angrier and angrier as the morning has gone on. This is not helpful.


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