State still failing to protect children in 'grave danger' of child abuse


THE GOVERNMENT must act urgently to protect vulnerable children today,” said Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin who warned that “the nightmare of child abuse is not a thing of the past; it is happening every day”.

“Most of this abuse takes place in the family home. If the services are not in place, the State today will be just as culpable as it was in the past when it conspired with the church to cover up the abuse of children.”

Mr Ó Caoláin said during the Dáil’s debate on the Ryan report that “the woefully inadequate state of our child protection services has been repeatedly exposed”.

The HSE “knows of cases where children are in grave danger but the services are not in place to make the interventions required”.

Joe Behan (Ind, Wicklow) asked “was it the case that religious life, with its power and authority, became a refuge for people with predatory sexual instincts, or was it that a life of compulsory celibacy led to the development of such instincts in some of these people? The answer to this question should inform the church authority’s planning to prevent such atrocities ever occurring again.”

Maureen O’Sullivan (Ind, Dublin Central) said there were a group of abused “who do not wish to hear any more stories in the media because this is hurting them too much. They need a different type of help. As somebody who chaired the north inner-city drugs taskforce, I was constantly aware that those who were abused may turn to alcohol and drugs.

“I knew about the effects on their families as well as the other devastating effects of their having been institutionalised.

“Yeats wrote about a childish day being turned to tragedy. How many childish days were turned to tragedy in those years?”