The Taoiseach said the landmark judgment handed down today by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Irishwoman Louise O’Keeffe “will clearly require detailed consideration by the government.”
Louise O’Keeffe won her 30-year legal battle when the Strasbourg-based Court delivered a majority ruling in her favour that the Irish State had been negligent in failing to protect her from abuse in national school.
The court ruled that her human rights had been breached under Section 3 and 13 of European law – with the Irish State now liable to compensate the mother for what she suffered. The judgement is also expected to open the floodgates to over 200 compensation claims by Irish victims abused by State employees.
Speaking in the Dáil, he said: “Louise O’Keeffe should never have been subjected to this abuse. This is another example of the horrific regime and sort of environment that children and young people lived in, and her case today clearly indicates the scale of that historic abuse and the failure and the inaction to protect children.”
Mr Kenny added that on Thursday he and Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald will officially launch the Children and Family Agency, the first agency dedicated to support the welfare of children and families.
He said that the Minister for Justice has begun the Criminal Justice Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons Act 2012. “It’s now the responsibility of every member of society to protect and to defend the vulnerable from this most serious of crimes. No longer will it be acceptable that ignorance or secrecy on the part of those who have knowledge of criminal offenses can protect those who perpetrate such crimes”.