Minister Quinn announces the establishment of the Residential institutions Statutory Fund (Important Information)


* Important to keep reading below for Q & A of the common questions we have already experienced from our clients

Minister Quinn announces establishment of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund


The Residential Institutions Statutory Fund (RISF) is to be officially established next Monday, the 25th of March.  The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D.  is also announcing the appointment of the members of the RISF Board and the designation of the first CEO.


The RISF Board is a new body which is being established under the provisions of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012. The Board will oversee the use of the cash contributions of up to €110 million pledged by the religious congregations to support the needs of some 15,000 survivors of residential institutional child abuse.  These survivors have received awards from the Residential Institutions Redress Board or equivalent court awards.


The support to be provided will include a range of approved services, including health and personal social services, education and housing services.  To date €40m in cash contributions have been received from the congregations and a further €27m is expected on the establishment of the Fund.


Minister Quinn said, “The establishment of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board represents a critically important step in responding to the needs of those who were subjected to horrendous abuse while children in residential institutions. I greatly appreciate the fact that the members have agreed to contribute to the work of the Board and I wish them well in their work. While the tasks facing the Fund are significant, I am confident that it will make a meaningful contribution to the wellbeing of the survivors of institutional abuse.”


The composition of the Board is as follows:


Ms Sylda Langford, Chairperson


Ordinary Members (former residents of institutions)


  • Mr Paddy Doyle
  • Ms Bernadette Fahy
  • Ms Phyllis Morgan
  • Mr Martin Power



Other Ordinary Members


  • Mr Damian Casey
  • Mr Austin Currie
  • Mr Tom Daly
  • Ms Katherine Finn BL

The Board members are appointed for a four year term of office, commencing on 25th March, 2013.  The positions are not remunerated.


The Minister also announced that Ms Mary Higgins is to be appointed as chief executive officer of the RISF Board.  She was selected following a recruitment campaign held by the Public Appointments Service.


The Minister also commenced Part 4 of the 2012 Act, which dissolves the Education Finance Board and transfers its remaining functions and staff to the RISF, with effect from 29th March 2013.




Q & A


Will Right of Place Second Chance continue to be funded?


We have had a number of enquiries from our clients who access our Services on a regular basis surrounding this issue. I can categorically confirm that we will indeed continue to be funded and there is no need to fear surrounding this. We have only ever been funded by the HSE, the St. Stephens Green Trust Fund and received a small amount from the Department of Education.


This fund is not being established to support groups, but to support Survivors. We will continue to receive our funding from the HSE and will continue to support Survivors and their families where we possibly can. We will also be available to offer assistance to any Survivor living in Ireland, the UK and further afield in applying for support from the Statutory Trust Fund.

It is imperative that Survivors do not fear, as we will continue to be funded by the HSE, of which we are grateful for their continued support and encouragement. Ensuring we remain open is even more imperative at this present stage to ensure Survivors 1) Gain access to the supports we offer and 2) Those most vulnerable have a support base to help them apply and make appeals for their needs to the RISF


What can I apply for?

Whilst there was guidelines set down in the Bill, the exact nature and types of support offered by the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund will become apparent over the next couple of weeks. The Board are due to meet this Wednesday (27th March 2013) and this will be discussed. Due to our links and information we will get it as soon as it becomes available and as soon as we have it our members and general Survivor population will receive it.


How do I apply?

Again this question is answered in the above statement. It will take the Board and CEO of the RISF a number of weeks in which to meet to discuss the exact criteria into how a Survivor applys, however our offices, phone network, e-mail support and Newsletters will be published once this becomes more apparent.


Will you let me no when more information becomes available?

Right of Place is committed to ensuring our clients have correct, factual and accurate information as soon as it becomes available. We will be holding open days in our Office Centres and other areas across Ireland in the Near future, will have all our staff trained on the information should you wish to call, we will send out a Newsletter/pamphlet to explain the information and we will be making many media appearances to ensure all Survivors have access to the neccessary information.

Additionally to this, we hope to work with the Board to establish information and material to be distributed to Survivors explaining how the RISF can support them. This should ensure you that when the information becomes available, you will have it ASAP.


Will Right of Place Help me in my application?

We are a support group whose only aim is to assist Survivors. This includes applications to the New RISF so please feel free to call us by looking at any of our information as detailed by clicking here. (Opens in a new window)

Who is Mary Higgins?


Mary Higgins has been nominated as the CEO of the Board. Mary was previously Director of the Homeless Agency and Director of the Homeless initiative. Additionally to this Mary also held the position of Director of Threshold. More recently Mary was a Social and Management Policy Consultant and sat on the Network created by the St. Stephen's Green Trust, which assists and deals with a number of Survivor Groups assisting them in the delivery of their services. As part of this work she also carried out research into the needs of Survivors of Institutional Abuse, of which can be viewed by clicking here. Having dealt with Mary on a Professional capacity over the last 24 months, we can assure our Clients that Mary is very aware of Survivors needs and we very much view her appointment as a positive step for the advancement of Survivors lives.


So What now?


Now that the Board has been announced and the CEO put in place, they will meet to discuss the eligibility criteria. This will mean how does a Survivor apply for support, what can they apply for etc. Once this is finalised we hope to be in a position to inform our members and clients immediately through the delivery of this information by post, by phone and through local media outlets.

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