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Observations on the scale of Commission Bill

Added on August 6, 2007

May we refer to the article ?Revealed: scale of abuse inquiry legal bill? by Conor Ryan in the Irish Examiner dated 4th August 2007.

It begs the question: has Brenda McVeigh Secretary to the Ryan Commission taken into account Honourable Justice Mary Laffoys final interim report as the Ryan Commission begins to wind up its affairs after eight years.

It?s quite clear that Honourable Justice Mary Laffoy strongly criticised the Government, the religious congregations and lawyers in her third interim report of the Commission into Child Abuse as follows:

The commission has been "devoid of any real independent capacity to perform its statutory functions".

The Department of Education and Science "has not adopted a constructive approach to dealing with its role in the inquiry".

If the congregations "have a genuine desire to co-operate with the committee, they could do so without prejudicing their position . . . they could admit any matter of indisputable historic fact".

Problems besetting the commission include "the attitude of the survivors' solicitors to the issue of compensation and the attitude of the legal representatives of the various parties involved . . . to the State's liability for the costs of legal representation".

The confidential committee, which heard testimony from 771 complainants by October 2003, should complete its work by May 2005.

The investigation committee is addressing 2,101 complaints relating to 267 institutions and foster care.

Seventy-three per cent of complainants are men, 27 per cent are women.

Sixty-seven per cent of complainants are over 50.

Thirty-six members of religious congregations are facing more that 20 allegations each.

Eighty-seven per cent of all complaints being investigated relate to institutions run by religious congregations.

Legal costs for preparation and submission of complainants' statements ranged between ?4,053 and ?11,228.

Legal costs for preparation and submission of respondents' statements ranged between ?732 and ?9,025.

Commission's own costs (personnel, witness?s expenses etc, and administration) to November 2003 - ?10.96 million. (Does not include expert witnesses' fees for its vaccine trials division).

Albert King on behalf of Mary King. (victim of institutional child abuse).

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