Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 17 December 2020
Public Accounts Committee
Caranua: Financial Statements 2019
Ms Rachel Downes:
I am sorry the Deputy feels that way. She is talking about correspondence, referred to here, which I have not had an opportunity to view. I cannot respond as I do not know what information the committee has received but it has obviously created a lot of concern for Deputies.
Over the past two years in particular, Caranua has engaged intensively with survivor support groups and counselling services and we have asked for guidance and advice to feed back. I do not think Caranua would have been invited to be part of the organising committee for the conference if the survivor support groups that were working day in, day out with survivors felt as the Deputy does. We are working day in, day out with survivors and we have their best interests at heart in everything we do. I have worked with some of the most dedicated people in my four years in Caranua. Nobody is setting out to upset survivors. That is not our aim. We know what survivors have been through. Our aim is to work with survivors to try to ensure they get the best possible outcome out of the funding supports available to them. As I said, while our remit is funding supports our role has gone above and beyond that and includes the advocacy supports we offer on a daily basis and social interactions. So many survivors contact us all the time just to say we are the only people they can talk to and the only voice at the end of the phone. I have to say that.