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HOLY LAND: How much money are religious orders pocketing from lucrative property sales?
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Properties valued at almost €250 million in 2009 - and offered by religious congregations for redress in institutional child abuse cases - have yet to be handed over to fulfil that promise.

Meanwhile, notable sale of land by religious orders to private investors or buyers has occurred in recent years.

A number of convents have been sold around the country. This summer, the Presentation Sisters sold one in Fermoy having had a guide in excess of €800,000. A number of years ago they sold their holiday home in Ballinskelligs for a similar price of €775,000.

The Sisters of Mercy also sold a number of convents this year and last. In July, Rosscarbery Convent sold for over €450,000. They have one currently for sale for €500,000 in Spanish Point in County Clare.

Further sales may be on the horizon. There is concern about the potential sale of land in Dublin by the Sisters of Charity following the sudden closure of two nursing homes and a convalescent home that belonged to them.

Millions have also been made on the selling of school pitches to developers. The Christian Brothers sold over seven acres at Clonkeen College in South Dublin for €18 million. The Vincentians, who were not part of the redress scheme, sold pitches beside St Anne’s Park in a deal worth more than €25 million.

But with hundreds of millions worth of property yet to be transferred to the State, how much property is being put on the market and are religious orders pocketing the profits from these sales?

HELP US INVESTIGATE

Noteworthy want to follow the money trail by investigating sales of properties and land by religious institutions over the past number of years. We will also ask the orders what they plan to do with the money.

We want to find what is delaying the remaining promised properties from being handed over to the State as part of the redress schemes.

Have you any information that you think would help this investigation? Contact us at [email protected]

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