TWO of the religious congregations named in the Ryan Report for having overseen years of child abuse in their residential homes, made over E5m in land deals in Tipperary alone. Many of the sales were made while the claims of abuse were being investigated.
Records made public this week show that the Sisters of Mercy, one of the 19 congregations named in the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse - the findings of which shocked Ireland two years ago - made E3,889,376 from the sales of property in County Tipperary. In one case, the congregation earned up to E1,605,056 from the sale of land in Tipperary town.
The sales were all made during the boom years, when the congregations benefited from selling land during rapidly rising property prices. The Sisters of Mercy were also one of the congregations which ran the notorious Magdalene Laundries. In total, the congregation made E165m from the sale of assets across the state in order to fund care for its clients and aging 2,088 members.
The sales in Tipperary include; a car park in Newport valued at E32,000 (2004); Tig Muire in Templemore for E139,000 (2003); Our Lady’s Mount Convent, Borrisoleigh - E435,645 (2001); land in Tipperary Town valued at E1,605,056; land in Drangan - E163,695 (2004); Drangan Convent - E30,929 (1999); Old Schoolhouse, Newport E581,047 (2005); land at St Anne’s Convent worth E500,000 (2008); Borrisokane school building - E127,000 (2003), and Ballyporeen Primary School - E275,000 (2006)
Separately, the Presentation Sisters - also named in the Ryan Report - earned some E1,254,000 from similar sales around Cashel and Fethard. During the boom, this congregation earned E718,000 from the sale of property in Cashel (2002); E167,000 from Cashel field, Cahir Road; E295,000 from Hughes Lot, Cashel, and E74,000 from HSU in Fethard. In total the Presentation Sisters earned over E72m in land deals across the state from the late 1990’s onwards
The figures came to light this week when the records of the transactions were supplied to the Department of Education after the government demanded a review of their assets ahead of any renegotiation with the congregations in relation to compensating victims of abuse.
Separately, the Christian Brothers made some E882,658 in similar land deals in Tipperary during the same period.
These include; a playing field in Roscrea E147,935 (2000); land in Clonmel worth E126,974, (2000); Strip Access in Carrick-on-Suir - E28,569 (2000); property in Roscrea - E501,547 (2001); and E77,623 from the Pill road, Carrick-on-Suir (2008).