News

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!

Making politicians aware of our needs

There is all party support on issues that concern survivors so it would be fair comment to say that all politicians are on the side of survivors. (I have yet to meet one that is not).

Fianna Fail have tried to address the issues that affect our lives. We have access to counselling, education, the tracing of our family members and a lot of goodwill.

Fine Gale and Labour can also be said to have the interests of survivors at heart, but it is important to let them know that we have not gone away, and you, the ordinary survivor have a duty to carry this message to those that you know.

The Changing needs of survivors

It is ten years since the brutalities of abuse fi rst came to the attention of the public in any serious or believable way.

With the investigation and publication of the Ryan report all doubt about the nature, extent and sheer evil abuse inflicted on children in the care of state, religious, run institutions was removed.

Ten years have passed since then. Survivors are getting old and in need of assistance.

Right of Place Second Chance does not buy into the false argument that survivors did not handle their paltry redress wisely.

The fact is that some didn’t while the majority did handle their redress with caution and care.

Therefore, Right of Place Second Chance also make the case that – not only should the 110 million be handed over to survivors immediately, but that the 450 million which the church is being asked to hand over to the state as payment for the redress which has already been paid out – should in fact be used as a health/ welfare support aid - for survivors - to aid us in our ill health and support us and our dependents in our time of need.

So that we can live with dignity and die in peace.

The trust fund

Right of Place/Second Chance has already stated our position on this fund, in our last Newsletter.

It is that a cash settlement should be issued to each survivor from the 110 million, which the Religious have handed over to the state.

We make this argument on two grounds;

  1. The ageing profile of survivors
  2. The urgent need to alleviate the financial hardship many survivors are experiencing at present

The majority of survivors are in the age bracket of late fifties, sixties upwards. Many survivors are dying in abject poverty. Many are unable to take advantage of education or training programmes because of ill health and frailty.

Also, many survivors are socially isolated unable to meet friends or family or go to a place that offers a social outlet. Many survivors are hard pressed to pay bills such as heating, electricity and outstanding personal loans.

Let's get real here and deal with what survivors need now and into the short future we have left!

New Lo-call Number

The old free Phone number has been replaced with a new Lo-call number. So, when you decide to call our National number in Cork it is 1890 200 207.

The offices in Waterford Limerick and Galway have their own numbers and it makes more sense that survivors / members from their own areas contact these offices, for a quicker, personal response.

Your local area Right of Place Second Chance workers will be available to deal with issues that affect survivors/dependants so if you are faced with a diffi culty of any kind, give them a ring. Local and national updates on any survivor developments will now be just a call or visit away.

This will address the criticisms that Survivors/members were not getting any information of things as they developed.

New offices open for Survivors

The Limerick office is opened in the Basement 72 O Connell Street Limerick.

The Galway office is opened at Unit 4b Kilkerrin Park Liosban Estate Tuam Road Galway.

The outreach worker for the newly formed Limerick/ Galway Area is Val Groeake and he can be contacted on 086 3145235 Waterford /Eastern office is opened in the Rice Youth and Community Centre Manor Street.

The outreach worker for the Waterford Eastern Area is Micheal Walsh and who can be contacted in the Waterford office Phone: 051 309364 (this is temporary).

The Cork/Kerry office and outreach worker for Cork/ Kerry Area is Ann Marie Crean and who can be contacted on 1890200709.

Congratulations to all.

These regional offices are supported by our head office in Cork and together we hope that information, advice, assistance and generally all appeals will be easily accessible to you much more than before.

It is the intention of Right of Place Second Chance to address any problems survivors/members experience and to have an open door for survivors to express their concerns regarding events that affect them and to respond to those concerns as effectively as we can.