THE Catholic Church handed over properties worth €28.6 million, including a three-acre site in Dublin 4 and St Colman’s Home in Cobh, Co Cork, as part of its deal to compensate abuse victims.
It emerged yesterday that 21 properties or sites have been handed over to the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Department of Education and other bodies.
The properties and sites range in value from the €101,600 accepted in cash for a site given to the HSE at Cloughmacsimon in Bandon, to the €8.9m for the three-acre site at the former St Mary’s Asylum for the Female Blind in Merrion, Dublin, which has been handed over to Dublin City Council.
The full details of the handover were included in the answer to a Parliamentary Question asked by Labour TD Ruairi Quinn.
While 21 properties and sites were handed over, 43 remaining transfers have not yet taken place, a situation described by Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe as "regrettable".
While the Merrion site is deemed the most valuable, a number of other properties are valued at millions of euro, including Terenure Secondary School (€4.5m), which was passed to the department, and St Anne’s Secondary School in Milltown in Dublin 6 (€2.6m), which was passed on to St Vincent De Paul.
In Galway the Cluid Housing Association got 2.76 hectares while the Galway Association for Mentally Handicapped Children were given 0.21 hectares, all in Tuam, worth e3m collectively.
The Goldenbridge Group Homes in Inchicore in Dublin, itself linked to past child abuse claims, is valued at €1.26m. Another Goldenbridge property in Inchicore, Gate Lodge, was transferred to Dublin City Council.
The properties were valued at 2002 levels, and while the economic downturn has affected value levels of late, the official values attached to the properties and sites are still thought to exceed the 2002 valuations.
The Church’s liability to compensate abuse victims was €128m, a figure drastically short of the overall cost of compensation claims, with the state footing most of the bill.
In answering the Parliamentary Question, Mr O’Keeffe said: "I wish to advise the Deputy that my department does not intend to revisit or renegotiate the terms of the existing indemnity agreement or enter into any new agreement which would see the state seek further contributions from the contributing congregations.
"All the 63 properties which are subject to the indemnity agreement, with the exception of two, are in use or available for use by the intended recipients. Of the 63 properties, 30 are transferring to the HSE, 15 to my department, one to the OPW and the remaining 17 to various voluntary bodies.
"In the case of 44 of the properties, the properties have transferred to the intended recipients."
Yesterday in the Dáil, Deputy Quinn called for a handover of Catholic-owned schools to the state to help towards the compensation costs for abuse victims.
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Clerical Whispers’ for any or all of the articles placed here.
The placing of an article hereupon does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.