Eighteen religious congregations have yet to hand over €32m worth of property as part of their share of compensation for sexually abusing children, eight years after signing an agreement to do so.
The religious orders agreed to pay €127m in property and cash towards the state's €1.3bn final bill but have been very slow to honour their side of the agreement.
The controversial deal, signed by then education minister Michael Woods the day before he left office in June 2002, provides for the transfer to the state of properties to the value of €66m, a cash contribution of €52m and a €10m counselling contribution.
A total of 64 church properties have been accepted by the state so far but just 21 of these – valued at just short of €27m – are now legally in the hands of the state and another 24 properties worth €7m are almost fully transferred. But legal difficulties are holding up the transfer of 19 properties worth €32m.
The 21 properties fully handed over to date include a three-acre site at Merrion Road in Dublin owned by the Sisters of Charity and valued at €8.9m, and Terenure secondary school, valued at €4.5m.
Properties which are almost over the line include land and buildings at Lota in Glanmire, Co Cork, owned by the Brothers of Charity, and presentation Convent Hospital, Limerick, owned by the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Mary, valued at more than €400,000.
Properties where difficulties remain include Upton House in Cork owned by the Rosminians, the only order which, according to the Ryan report, admitted congregational liability for abuse.
If the religious orders appear to be having trouble finding deeds to properties to hand over to the state, they had no such problems when property developers wanted to buy the land.
In 2001, the Sisters of Charity sold 14.5 acres on the prestigious Merrion Road to a developer for almost €60m. The Sisters of Mercy offloaded Carysfort College to UCD in 1989 for over €25m while the Oblates sold 100 acres in Belcamp in north Dublin for €105m.
The orders argue that the proceeds of these sales frequently go back into serving the community or are necessary to maintain members who have retired from active service.
The shortfall means the 18 orders have legally handed over around €95 million as their contribution to the state's estimated compensation bill of €1.3bn. This represents around €6,500 per victim of abuse, or 10% of the average €63,320 awarded by the redress board to each of the 14,584 victims who have lodged claims.
It is even less if you subtract around €40m worth of religious property transferred to charities and voluntary agencies in the three years before the indemnity agreement was signed in 2002.
While the overall €128m indemnity deal was considered a steal for the religious congregations, a clause in the deal gives them credit for around €40m worth of property which they had already handed over to various charities and non-state voluntary organisations between then taoiseach Bertie Ahern's public apology to the victims of abuse in May 1999 and the June 2002 agreement.
This aspect of the deal was strongly pushed by the orders through their solicitors, Arthur Cox. In a letter to the Department of Education in April 2002, after the government had queried whether properties already handed over to non-state bodies should count towards the €128m, the solicitors wrote: "I am instructed by my clients that what was agreed between principals was that credit would be given for properties transferred in the last three years."
Many of the 27 pre-2002 properties had already been transferred to the various organisations, yet they still counted for one third of the orders' €128 million contribution.
Pre-2002 properties included St Anne's secondary school in Milltown, Dublin, handed over by the Sisters of Charity to St Vincent de Paul, which was valued at €2.6m.
The Sisters of Mercy were credited with €200,000 for transferring a gate lodge at Goldenbridge in Inchicore, while the Christian Brothers were credited with £200,000 (€250,000) for the transfer of a quarter-acre of low-level waste ground in Crumlin to Dublin city council.
Even where properties were sold at reduced prices rather than given for free, the congregation was credited with the difference between the price at which it was sold and the real market value.
For example, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary sold lands at Oranmore to Galway County Council for £344,800 (€437,900). But this was valued at £850,000 (€1,080,000), so the order was credited with £500,000 (€635,000).
Properties Fully Handed Over To The State
Doon , Co Limerick €640,000
St Colemans, Rushbrook €571,380
Playing field, Carna €175,000
Secondary school/site, Ennistymon €980,000
Mohill community school/site €520,000
Terenure secondary school €4,500,000
Site at Merrion €8,900,000
Two properties at Tuam €3,020,000
Nursery building, Goldenbridge €570,000
24 Westcourt, Tralee €184,110
Site at Glenamaddy €600,000
11-acre site, Virginia road, Kells €825,000
Deenagh House, Killarney €215,265
St Anne's Secondary School €2,600,000
28 The Woodlands €270,000
Vacant building/land, Rathdrum €349,200
Gate lodge, Goldenbridge €220,000
1 Garravogue Rd, Raheen, Limerick €228,550
23 Woodlea, Tralee €152,370
Goldenbridge group homes €1,269,700
Cloughmacsimon (cash in lieu) €101,600