Child abuse victims of Irish clergy to be paid £145million

London Evening Standard, UK/November 25, 2009

The Catholic Christian Brothers today promised £145million in cash and land in compensation to victims of child abuse by Irish clergy.

It comes six months after the Ryan Report exposed the sexual and physical abuse of tens of thousands of children in Catholic institutions over six decades.

The report, which took nine years to complete, revealed that Church leaders and government watchdogs covered up abuse to protect their reputations.

Today the Christian Brothers, which ran many of the schools and orphanages, promised £27million to an Irish government trust along with £3.6million for counselling services.

School playing fields worth €127million will be transferred to the state and the Edmund Rice Schools Trust - a lay body which took control of the Brothers' schools last year.

In a statement, the Christian Brothers said it hoped the package would help support former residents of church-run institutions.

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

"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."

A separate investigation exposing child sex abuse by Catholic priests in the Dublin archdiocese is to be published tomorrow.

The Commission of Inquiry into the archdiocese has examined allegations against a sample 46 priests.

The report will be censored in parts so as not to prejudice criminal cases.

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