News

Right Of Place Second Chance response to the Paper Towards Healing and Renewal

Preamble;

It is important to understand that this paper is not a conclusive response to the document Towards Healing and Renewal, however it is a view based on the needs of survivors of institutional abuse, and in particular the views of Right of Place Second Chance survivors and their families. Uppermost in our minds is the necessity to alleviate the distress of financial worry and social isolation of survivors. In the past number of years, many survivors and our members have experienced new and unexpected challenges, which need our support, and assistance. Right of Place Second Chance focus is based on the needs and issues, which, continue to affect the lives of our members on an ongoing basis. It is important to acknowledge that many of our members who left these institutions, in many cases, did so with limited education and no skills. I do not need to elaborate on the consequences of this history except to say that the institutions of Prisons, Mental Health Hospitals, Graveyards, and the streets were places to which many survivors fell hostage to, resulting from the abuse suffered as children.

It is shocking that as children they should have experienced this kind of abuse, especially while in the care of Religious Orders. So, our initial response is to welcome the steps taken in this paper to once again acknowledge the hurt and pain and lack of response to the plight of survivors when it was most needed. Clearly, there is a need for further counselling funding provided to Faoiseamh and the expanded responses to support this service. This response is of some benefit to some survivors. Right of Place Second Chance would like to now respond to some of the key points in this document.

Exciting new jobs for our members!

In the present economic climate with job losses and cutbacks, it is a major achievement for the New Board of Right of Place/Second Chance to be able to offer full and part time jobs to you, our members.

However, this is not all. A new model for Right of Place is also part of this ongoing change. Basically, it has a

  1. Structure,
  2. An appeals process and
  3. an identification of the work survivors are mandated to do on your behalf.

It is the intention of the new Board to recruit the very best to work professionally to achieve the very best in welfare, health, cash settlement, education housing and life skills€“ for you.

Names, numbers and information of an outreach worker in your area will be in our next issue in January.

Division makes us weaker

We have touched on this subject before and we make no apologies for bringing it up again. Many survivors have taken the time to ask, "why so many organisations"? Some say that this is a good thing because there is variety! Right of Place/Second Chance understands this argument and believes that choice is a good thing for survivors.

Unfortunately, some of these new groups offer survivors exaggeration and bluster. This causes some difficulties for survivors whose expectation of instant justice is unrealisable. It also causes some difficulty for other organisations who are working away in the background for survivors to ensure that support services are put in place to look after survivors needs for the rest of their lives, for example in health, welfare, and in our social lives. The good news is that we will succeed, because reason and common decency wins out in the end.

We wish some survivors and the Examiner newspaper realise that pursuing Agendas that cause survivors pain and hardship should cease NOW!

New and old members

Over the past year, old and indeed new member’s details have not been put up on our database. It is important that this be corrected. If you get this News Sheet then you are ok, however, if you know of somebody who did not and would like to, then it is important that they phone Right of Place/Second Chance Free Phone 1800200709 and ask to be put on our data base.

There will be offi ces opening in all the major centres of Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway. Details of this development will be in our January News Sheet. We feel that having an offi ce will be important for our members and indeed all survivors who wish to avail of information on what’s happening in their area.

in a better personal life, fi nancially, and socially. Let’s build on all the positives Right of Place has achieved down through the years. What are these you may ask? Taoiseach’s apology, redress, Ryan inquiry, housing, education and Training. The list is almost endless! We ask survivors to support the good work that is being done for survivors.

Messages of support

The new Board of Right of Place/Second Chance wish to thank those survivors who have sent cards and messages of goodwill wishing the new Board success.

We will be replying to you all, and again many, many thanks; it is appreciated.

Attention Cork Survivors

Do you want to learn the very basics of computers? So, you are an absolute beginner and you don'€™t want to be learning with computer geniuses; now is the time to apply to Right of Place/ Second Chance.

Pat Sheehan VEC (who is based in Right of Place offi ces) is to commence a five-week course (two hours per week). It is free. If you want to understand how to do simple tasks on the computer like send an Email, make a free phone call to anywhere in the world or download films etc. Then phone Pat on 0860862978 or Free Phone 1800200709. Go on, you know you want to!

Welcome house us closed

The closure of Welcome House came as no surprise to most survivors. Over the years, it had served as a place where survivors and their dependents stayed, while they conducted their business with the state and solicitors. It also was a place where one could stay at a very reasonable rate for short breaks.

Sadly, it outlived its usefulness. Less and less people used it and it became diffi cult to justify its huge cost base. To all the workers who contributed to its success over the years and to all the people who enjoyed its facilities we thank you.

One organisation one voice one direction

Most survivors believe that one organisation with the strength, intelligence, infl uence and capability of delivering for survivors is the way to go. Right of Place/ Second Chance believes this also we will work and fi ght with other groups for the benefi t of survivors once they do not hinder the advances we seek for survivors.

The advances and gains made by survivors over the last ten years did not come about by accident. It was by hard work and dedication. Let’s not forget that, but let’s also not forget that it is not enough. It is not yet fi nished!

Survivors want to know the facts - not fiction!

What has changed in Right of Place?

  1. The old Board of Directors have stepped down!
  2. The previous Project Leader has retired!

Now, a new Board of directors have been elected to bring the organisation forward. Our duty is to our membership in the here and now, - and into the future. Our mandate is to build for our members’ - a sustainable priority of services in Health, social welfare and social supports. This is what the Examiner newspaper should be writing about and supporting. We seek justice for our members that will result in a better personal life, fi nancially, and socially. Let’s build on all the positives Right of Place has achieved down through the years.

What are these you may ask? Taoiseach’s apology, redress, Ryan inquiry, housing, education and Training. The list is almost endless! We ask survivors to support the good work that is being done for survivors.

The Trust Fund - Our Position

Right of Place/Second Chance acts on the instructions of its members. We do not support a trust fund. Our members do not want it.

We as an organisation realise and understand that a sizeable number of survivors are elderly and in bad states of health, consequently we wish a settlement to this burning issue to be resolved immediately.

We also need a strong organisation representing this demand, which will be listened to and respected.

New board of directors

All survivors elected onto this new board know that it is a non-paying voluntary position.

As with all new Boards, but especially with a new survivor Board, stresses and tensions occur. Two members resigned from the Board for their own personal reasons. Naturally, the rumour mill was churning out outrageous gossip. To the two Board members who stepped down we wish you the very best and success in the future.

We will be co-opting two new directors, if you would like to be considered and you feel that you can offer something to survivors then send in your details to the office.

Towards Healing and renewal - A pastoral response from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

A pastoral response from the irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference to mark the first anniversary of the publication of the Pastoral Letter of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland

Click here to download the article in PDF format. (Opens in new window - 439KB)

Introduction

The abuse of children by some priests and religious was an appalling wrong. The inadequate response by some Church leaders has left a deep wound that may never be fully healed.

No apology, no gesture of repentance or sorrow can ever make up for the hurt that has been caused to those abused and to their families: they have been grievously harmed and let down by people who professed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are deeply ashamed of this and we are profoundly sorry for any failures on our part.

Today we wish to give expression to that sorrow by expressing our commitment to existing initiatives as well as to a number of new initiatives. Our hope is that these initiatives will enhance the personal, pastoral, spiritual and practical support available to survivors of child physical and sexual abuse by some priests and religious in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

In the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, ‘No one imagines that this painful situation will be resolved swiftly’. What is set out here today represents only part of a wider response and a longer journey to be undertaken by the Church in helping to bring healing and peace to survivors of abuse. Part of that journey is the challenge of restoring confidence and hope to those many young people, parents, parishioners, priests and religious, who feel angry, let down or despondent because children have been abused in the care of their Church and because so many in leadership failed to give priority to the love and care of children in their response to such heinous crimes.

Applications for membership

A number of questions have come into our offices regarding dependents. Can the dependents of survivors become members of Right of Place Second Chance even if their Mum or Dad has died? Yes, they can and are very welcome. We have an associate form, which entitles dependents to all the services provided by Right of Place Second Chance except voting rights.

Click here to apply for membership.

Would you like to help?

We now have centres up and running in the major cities of Cork Limerick Waterford and Galway. Do you feel that you can offer your experience, advice skills or help in any way? Just ring or call into the offi ce and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.

We need fresh ideas, for the challenges ahead. If you are a survivor, then fi rst call is to you. Are you a dependent? Then you are more than welcome. Or are you someone (not a survivor, etc) who feel that you could contribute then you are also welcome.

Previously, survivors expressed an interest to help out and, unfortunately, circumstances did not allow us to avail of your kind offers. Now we are in a much healthier position and keen to have you on board.

LAMH Healing Foundation - For Survivors

What is Lamh Healing Foundation? The Lamh Healing Foundation is an organisation set up to help survivors of institutional and clerical abuse. More correctly, it is an idea brought into reality by a fellow survivor to help any other survivor find their sense of peace and healing.

How is this achieved you may ask? The Lamh healing foundation is a three bed roomed centre nestling in the beautiful countryside of west Cork. It a lovely oasis, away from the trials and tribulations of the everyday grind of paying bills conflict and stress. It demands nothing from you and it imposes nothing on you. It offers the survivor quietness. It also enables the survivor to reflect on what is important in his or her life.

Are you now beginning to ask the question; what is the catch? There is none! The idea is based on trust, goodwill and hospitality. Trust and goodwill is in some ways an indefinable quality. You can use all the words in the dictionary and you still would not be able to adequately define it. It is something that exists between people and is expressed sometimes as a smile, a hug or a handshake, but you know what.

The special something behind these gestures determines the good nature of that gesture. This is at the centre of the healing of the Lamh foundation for you. In other words, experience the hospitality and focus on yourself in a stress free environment. Go there; it is for you and indeed your family. The cost of an evening meal, tea and biscuits all day, an overnight, breakfast fit for a king or queen was ... well nothing! There is no demand on you for money.

Therefore, I discretely left twenty-five euro as an act of goodwill on my part when I left. If I could have afforded more I would have given more, if I had less to give then that would have been OK too.

Dave Dineen is the person who brought this idea into life and he is a survivor himself who some would say is foolish, even mad but if you would like to experience this beautiful happy place then he can be contacted on 028 34809 It is highly recommended.

Just one more thing, as far as I am aware this centre is not funded by any religious order, nor does it receive any state funding.

A group of volunteers who give their time and professional services free runs the centre! So a big thank to Melisa who looks after guests when they arrive there, to Jenny, to John and his family for all the kindness that is shown there. Moreover, to all the volunteers there - thanks!