The Residential Institutions Statutory Fund (RISF) is to be officially established today and the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD has also announced the appointment of the members of the RISF Board and the designation of the first CEO.
Ms Sylda Langford has been appointed as Chairperson to the Board. The following have been appointed as Ordinary Members (former residents of institutions): Mr Paddy Doyle, Ms Bernadette Fahy, Ms Phyllis Morgan and Mr Martin Power. Other ordinary members include: Mr Damian Casey, Mr Austin Currie, Mr Tom Daly and Ms Katherine Finn BL.
The Board members are appointed for a four year term of office, commencing today, March 25, 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.
The RISF Board is a new body, 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 €110m 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 wished the Board well in their work and said “while the tasks facing the Fund are significant, I am confident that it will make a meaningful contribution to the well being of the survivors of institutional abuse.”
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 March 29 2013.