Hello!

Welcome to RISN. We hope to keep you up to date on the initiatives taken to establish a survivor-led network (RISN) to better represent what is important to residential institutions survivors and give voice to our specific concerns and interests.

We hope to achieve this by listening to all survivors and learning to speak for and of ourselves.

For too long, we have been kept apart and our voice is silenced concerning our needs, or when we complain about the distress caused us when applying for funding, support or appropriate care.

A Press Statement was sought from the Department of Education for Christmas. The importance of a Press Statement was explained, not as a detailed plan of the agreed consultation talks, but as a statement of intent that such talks are in planning and are supported by the Minister, Mr Richard Bruton, so that the voice of RISN survivors will be heard which is essential in supporting their interests and concerns following the furore about Caranua in the Dáil debate on Wednesday 24th May this year and on the serious media reported failures and failings of Caranua in providing vital services to survivors and their families.

We hope by involving residential institutions survivors directly in identifying our concerns we will be able to improve less stressful access to services and supports.

Together we can ensure that changes can be efficiently and effectively achieved.

16 Replies to “Hello!”

    1. You raise a big question regarding access to compensation and whether there should be any time limitation. I cannot directly advise you but if you are a survivor of abuse at Pembrook Alms (Nazareth House) Industrial School for Girls, Tralee, Co Kerry, then you ought to be eligible. Who told you, you were too late? Perhaps you might contact the Residential Institutions Redress Board or read their frequently asked questions which may be able to direct you.

    1. So far all this has been achieved by good will and the efforts of committed supporters. The proposed assembly talks will be achieved through discussion with the Department of Education.

      1. Christopher, RISN did answer Robert and we have nothing to add because there is nothing to add.

        But we repeat…

        So far all this has been achieved by good will and the efforts of committed supporters. The proposed assembly talks will be achieved through discussion with the Department of Education.

  1. Congrats on a badly needed forum for survivors of abuse in Residential Institutions. The whole area of abuse – Institutions, Schools, Youth & Sports organisations, Familial, & Other needs to be taken very seriously by our Government. An enormous cost accrues as a consequence of abuse – lost potential, opportunity, self-harm, addiction, etc etc. Wake up I say to our political masters. And wake up fast.

    1. Thanks John. We encourage institutional survivors to rise up and stand together. Differences amongst institutional survivors has only benefitted those who ought to be helping more, the Irish State. We know that they must do better. “United we stand and divided we fall” is worth thinking about. RISN recognises the importance of the amazing work done by so many industrial survivor groups but we would like for the divisions to be healed and we come together to achieve far greater goals collectively. Respect is key. RISN stands for a non-discriminatory and inclusive respect for all residential institutions survivors. We’re better together.

  2. Survivors Groups have failed survivors made millions. There is possible one exception John Kelly. The Government has used groups to implement injustices to all survivors. Is there an answer no the Government dose what it likes with the blessing of groups as long as the cash keep coming there way

    1. Thank you William Delahunty for your comment which deserves a full response.

      John Kelly of Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) is certainly a champion of child abuse survivors. So is Tom Hayes of the Alliance Victim Support Group; or John Allen mentioned in the Dáil Leader’s Questions in March 2017 who is the founder of VOCADS (Victims Of Child Abuse in Day Schools) launched before seeking justice in Europe; or Dave Dineen who was the founder of the Lámh Healing Foundation (dissolved on 15 Feb 2017); or the wonderfully compassionate Christine Buckley who headed up the Aisling Education Centre, established by the former Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern T.D. in 1999 following his apology on behalf of the State and the people of Ireland to all survivors who suffered child abuse in residential institutions as wards of the Irish State.

      There are other groups who would perhaps like to join in on this discussion such as the Creagh Lane survivors in Limerick, lead by John Boland, who took their case to the European Parliament last November supported by Sinn Féin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada and Maurice Quinlivan TD, who spoke of his commitment to the Creagh Lane Christian Brothers School Survivors in Limerick till justice is done.

      Other MEPs who supported the campaign in Europe were Luke “Ming” Flanagan, Martina Anderson, Nessa Childers, Matt Carthy and Marian Harkin. There was a conspicuous absence of Fine Gael MEPs.

      On your point of survivor groups making millions, I am not sure about any particular survivor or survivor-led group making millions but you can enlighten me.

      It is well documented how over €160 million was used in legal fees and millions more by Caranua but those are a different matter.

      We at RISN do not charge survivors to join up and have their voices heard. We receive no money from survivors to participate, nor do we plan to do so. RISN wants to get funds to survivors and their families not take it from them.

      The Government has a constitutional duty to survivors of residential institutional abuse and it doesn’t appear like they have wanted residential institutional survivors forming effective groups, associations or networks.

      We at RISN aim to change that by inviting individuals and groups to support each other because in the end of the day, everybody matters and we’re better together.

      We at RISN do not believe the government can do what it likes where funding is provided. It ought not to be seen as a bribe, coercion or inducement by the government to silence or buy out survivor groups. Funding ought to be seen as the government’s social, moral and constitutional obligation to survivors and their families.

      RISN receives nothing from the government at the minute but we are taking them seriously regarding their commitment to funding survivor consultation talks in 2018.

      I’d appreciate it if you get the word out about our website RISN, our Twitter account @RISNtweets, and our invitation to participate in the proposed consultation talks in 2018 to be funded by the Department of Education.

      1. RISN,

        Hi William, your honors list highlights your lack of experience in the platform you now find yourself in.

        With the exception of a few, you pay homage to Survivor Support Groups and individuals who have done nothing to help Survivors, only themselves.

        45 Million Euro+ , was handed over to Survivor Support Groups, without accountability . Yet the only beneficiaries of these substantial sums show up as “administration costs” on balance sheets. If you happen to be a crony or relative, when cash was being
        splashed, all you had to do was fill out your expense sheet and await receipt in your bank account.

        The only way to put an end to the gravy train is to STOP funding Survivor Groups and individuals who purport to represent us.

        The motives behind the majority of those who pretend to support Survivors has been one of greed and financial reward.

        Honesty, Integrity and compassion never stood a chance when it came to helping Survivors.

        Survivors have received Redress from the taxpayer but not Justice.

        The “Trust Fund”, maladministered by Caranua has a limited life span. The executive of Caranua will want that fund to run ad-Infinitum so that the beneficiaries of that Redress Fund will be for everyone , except , for those it was meant to help, Survivors.

        Government officials, especially those in the “Redress Unit “ of the Department of Education and Skills are experts in listening to Survivors, and doing nothing.

        William , “If they are now offering to fund you to talk to us” at least have the integrity to refuse their 30 pieces of silver, otherwise , you become another
        bought off Survivor.

        William , await the publishing of this comment on your moderated website and your response.

        Kind regards,

        Christopher.

        1. Dear Christopher,

          We are survivors. We are committed to survivors. Tell me how this money issue works? We have not received a cent? RISN is not in it for money. However, we will ensure state support is adequately provided to survivors and their families by right as much as by the Irish State’s duty and constitutional responsibility.

          Are you not tired of the way we survivors are treated and want to do something about it? That’s how we feel. We’re doing something about it at RISN.

          We’d like other survivors to join in that effort if they wish. We’re tired of abuse by a State that has utterly failed us. We at RISN dare to put our head up to do something ourselves in good will and good faith. We’re survivors and know exactly what ought to be done. We don’t need others to tell us. We do need other survivors to make sure no one’s suffering or issue is dismissed or left behind.

          RISN is only starting and yet you make out we’re like others. Well, we’re not. We believe fellow survivors can work together. Everyone else seems to say we can’t because some survivors are noted as turning their anger at anything that moves in this space. We need to build our own bridges amongst ourselves so we can get the job done that others claim we can’t. Lawyers took €160 million. Caranua has taken its generous cut. Enough! We’re better together!

          Let’s be clear, RISN is about survivors ensuring survivors are heard. Everyone matters. RISN has a goal to ensure what matters to survivors is addressed, and remedy and relief is provided as it ought by moral conscience as much as a constitutional duty of the Irish State.

          If you wish to help tell us what survivors want in jobs, homes, medical support, disability support, participation in local communities, education, physical and sporting community involvement, help with family matters, and end the betrayal that has been typical over so many decades, then by all means do tell. We want to know at RISN.

          RISN is not for tearing down but for building up. Building up the services and supports that ought to have been provided, long before now, to residential institutions survivors and their families.

          We’re different because we’re the real deal, we’re authentic, we’re fellow survivors and we know the heartache, the trauma, the abuse, the disrespect, the alienation, the loneliness, the depression, the anxiety caused by a society which would rather we might just go away.

          RISN says, “Enough is enough!” There are going to be different rules from now on, and we are going to be the authors of those rules on how to treat residential institutional survivors with the dignity, justice and compassion that all citizens should know from the services and supports of the Irish State.

          RISN is not for squabbling as that plays into the hands of those who take advantage of division. Our slogan means what RISN means, we’re Better Together! Are you in Christopher or will I give you a few more stones to throw at the imaginary monster you think RISN is? I listened to your presentation in Aglish Parish Church, Cappoquin, Co Waterford, in 2012 and know you will know, if not now, then in the future, that RISN is as authentic as you are.

          RISN is ready to work with all survivors of residential institutions abuse, openly, honestly, and for the very best interests of all, none will be left behind by us. We care about the most vulnerable amongst us, perhaps even more so.

          Kind regards,

          RISN

  3. Hi RISN,
    I have viewed and read your website thought-out.
    Firstly may I say well done and commend the founder William and those concerned on a lovely website and contact point.

    I note some comments but RISN cannot be taken like others for reason of money or funding. Atleast it is survivors led and run fully and done out of good will without funding. You RISN have nice website that says it nice and what you want. Don’t mind those who try to knock you. But mind and care for those who support the reason of you existing and of achieving.

    I have spoken with William on few occasion and pleasure of meeting him as I was one of the six on Hunger Strike. It was horrific and shocking what we had and have been brought through in taking this action.

    The State, Dept of Education, redress board, Social Welfare, Caranua and it’s CEO Mary Higgings have failed survivors and I. I have 12 months ban from phoning Caranua who is suppose to be a friend, compassion and understanding supporting and caring to me as survivor but instead has left me with no hope, no trust, more damaged and devastated. The very very little help I got was taken back with my social welfare reduce to little.
    The suffering and pain has been so so much I don’t want anymore neglect, re-abuse, torture, suffering and pain along with all what survivors had to put up with or endure for year.

    This has led to me saving for my funeral over last few months and will have this done by 25 January. I then hopefully will see my ageing suffering, torture, suffering and pain, and the ill harsh treatment cease finally got me.

    I would from my heart like to wish William and those concern every sucess with RISN and that all survivors support it and that is is better together.

    Sorry William and RISN I feel I can’t be with you all in this. Francis.

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