Byline: Galen English
RELIGIOUS orders at the centre of the child abuse scandal face paying half of any future compensation costs.
It had been reported yesterday that the 18 congregations would be asked for e500million of the e1.2billion already paid to Church victims.
However, last night it emerged that the Government will not be seeking back-payment but is likely to demand a split on further costs.
So far, 18 religious orders, including the Christian Brothers, have agreed to pay e127million, leaving the taxpayer to foot the rest of the bill. That sum comes to e1.073billion so far.
GovernmentChief Whip Pat Carey has denied reports yesterday claiming that he was seeking to claw back nearly half of the e1.2billion already paid to 14,500 victims.
But he said the Government should insist on an equal split on any more compensation payouts, when the Taoiseach meets Church leaders on Thursday.
He said: 'There are significant ongoing costs in dealing with victims such as looking after their education, housing and healthcare.
'It is these costs and any future claims that would have to be dealt with on a 50/50 basis. I'm not saying some of the money already paid out should not be reimbursed to the State but that is another matter.
'I don't want to get into the exact details of this before the Taoiseach meets with the congregations on Thursday.' Last night, it was unclear how any 50/50 deal would work legally, given that the 2002 indemnity agreement capped Church contributions to the Redress Scheme at e127million.
In recent days, Mr Carey has been notably outspoken since the Ryan report was released, revealing 60 years of Church child abuse since the Forties.
The investigation uncovered a catalogue of failures at the heart of the education system. …