Tusla and the Charleton report


Sir, – The Charleton tribunal has concluded that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, displayed “astounding inefficiency” and “inertia” in failing to notice and correct the mistaken Tusla file created on Sgt Maurice McCabe that has caused so much damage to him.

The tribunal also notes starkly Tusla’s failure to be forthcoming with the cooperation expected by the tribunal. Add to these alarming conclusions the chairman’s view that the necessity for the tribunal itself might well have been avoided if Tusla had reacted in a transparent and upfront manner. Taken in the round, these conclusions are astounding.

Yet for those familiar with the workings of Tusla, this we fear is but the tip of an iceberg. “Astounding inefficiency” and “inertia” are apt descriptions for the culture and practices that personify and pervade this agency’s response to reported and real situations of current abuse and neglect endured by many children in the State.

Vulnerable children and at-risk children cannot rely with confidence on Tusla. As a society we cannot and should not turn the other way to the ongoing series of stories which confirm the inability of Tusla to function as we should demand. In doing so. we are complicit in a cover-up.

The Charleton conclusions concerning Tusla are yet more in a long litany of similar conclusions in the public domain that all is not well with Tusla. How long can we allow this travesty to continue? When will we see a thorough review of not only the resource constraints faced by Tusla but also a review that seeks to shed light on cultural and managerial issues that need to be urgently addressed? The children failed today by Tusla are not now able to hold those in charge to account. Will anybody? – Yours, etc,


(Former parish priest,

Moyross, Limerick),


South Sudan.

Sir, – That the actions of one whistleblower were justified after a very public and very prolonged exposition of the facts is a comfort.

But to think that whistleblowers in powerful institutions are not daily being ground down by the powerful people in charge of these institutions and their supporters is to ignore reality. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.