Counsellors on stand-by on Ryan Report anniversary
Counselling services across the country were on stand-by today as survivors of clerical abuse mark the first anniversary of the harrowing Ryan Report.
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and Health Service Executive (HSE) said they were among the agencies anticipating an increase in the number of calls from survivors of abuse over the next few days.
The damning Ryan Report revealed the Roman Catholic Church and Irish Government covered up almost four decades of sexual abuse and beatings by priests and nuns against thousands of children in state care.
The report also documented a catalogue of disturbing and chronic sexual, physical and emotional torture inflicted on disadvantaged, neglected and abandoned youngsters by both religious and lay staff.
A survivor of institutional abuse, Christine Buckley, said May 20 will always be a significant and memorable date.
"It took 25 years and one day for us to be believed and vindicated," said Ms Buckley, director of the Aislinn Education and Support Centre where the date will be marked.
"But now we want the implementation of Judge Ryan's recommendations.
"There is no point spending million on a report or having an inquiry if you do not take positive steps to make sure that these atrocities are not repeated."
Elsewhere, eight child protection organisations joined forces to examine the progress of the Ryan Report Implementation Plan, in which the Government pledged to implement 99 specific actions within agreed time frames.
The Saving Childhood Ryan campaign involves Barnardos, CARI, Children's Rights Alliance, Irish Association of Young People in Care, ISPCC, One in Four, Rape Crisis Network of Ireland and Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the HSE said it will offer a face-to-face counselling service to adults who experienced abuse, neglect or trauma in childhood in order to help them cope better with their life and relationships.
"This specialist HSE service provides confidential counselling to adults who have experienced child abuse in their family, community or institutional setting," she said.
"Child abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual abuse and neglect. Counselling is available at 60 locations throughout Ireland and people can self-refer into the service."
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (24-hour): 1 800 77 88 88
Faoiseamh counselling for people abused by clergy and religious:
- Republic of Ireland: 1800 331 234
- Northern Ireland and UK: 0800 97 32 73
HSE (9am - 5pm Monday to Friday):
- North Dublin, Meath: 1800 234 110
- South Dublin, east Wicklow: 1800 234 111
- West Dublin, west Wicklow, Kildare: 1800 234 112
- Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath: 1800 234 113
- Galway, Mayo, Roscommon: 1800 234 114
- Limerick, Clare, north Tipperary: 1800 234 115
- Cork, Kerry: 1800 234 116
- Navan, Cavan, Louth, Monaghan: 1800 234 117
- Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, south Tipperary: 1800 234 118
- Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo: 1800 234 119