Saturday, May 23, 2009

Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse

Children still subject to State neglect and future cuts in Child care services cannot be allowed

Balbriggan Sinn Féin joins with the whole nation in expressing our support for the victims of abuse suffered in care homes in Ireland. These victims have a right to justice and we fully support them in their fight.

However, we must also not ignore the present state of child welfare services in this state. These services are woefully underfunded and rather than this government looking to make cuts in this area, it must do the opposite and give support to children who are suffering abuse. If this government does not do this then they will be as guilty as previous governments in failing to protect children.

Below is a statement from the Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Commenting on the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse,
Sinn Féin Dáil Leader and Spokesperson on Children Caoimhghn Caolin
said it was a horrific litany of abuse of children by Church and State and that children are still subject to State neglect. He called for the Reports recommendations to be fully implemented.

Deputy Caolin said:

The Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse is a horrific litany of abuse against children in institutions over decades. These most vulnerable children were subjected to a system of deplorable abuse amounting to a catalogue of crimes carried out when they were supposedly in the care of both the Catholic Church and the 26-County State. That system of abuse claimed the lives of many children. We may never know exactly how many children died of neglect and ill treatment in those

The Church and the State bear huge responsibility for what was done.

Our first and last concern should be the survivors of abuse and the memory of those who did not survive. The Government must implement the Reports recommendations to alleviate or otherwise address the effects of the abuse on those who suffered. It must also implement the recommendations to prevent where possible the incidence of abuse of children in institutions and to protect children from such abuse.

The sad reality is that children are still subject to State neglect and
are suffering abuse or in danger of abuse as a result. The Report focuses on institutions but many children in the community today are not receiving the protection they need. Yet the Government is refusing toimplement the recommendation of the Monageer Report for an out-of-hours social work service.

Child protection services are woefully inadequate with insufficient social workers and other front-line workers in place. The HSE knows of cases where children are in danger but the services are not in place to make the interventions required.

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 then the State today will be just as culpable as it was in the past when it conspired with the Catholic Church to cover up the abuse of children.

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