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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Louise O'Keeffe judgement sparks review of 44 more school child abuse claims

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

Published 04/02/2014 | 16:29

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Louise O'Keeffe, was celebrating last week after her landmark victory, when the EHCR found that the Irish State had been negligent in failing to protect her from abuse in primary school.

ANOTHER 44 claims of child abuse in Irish schools currently being pursued, are now being reviewed in light of the Louise O’Keeffe judgement.

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The State Claims Agency (SCA) has advised the Department of Education that this was the number of such cases on its hands, Education Minister Ruairi  reported to his Cabinet colleagues today.

Mr Quinn was updating ministers on the initial implications of the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) ruling in the Louise O’Keeffe case.

The Minister has asked his department, with the Attorney General’s Office and the SCA to review the 44 cases and any others that may be relevant to see whether they fall within the parameters of the EHCR judgement.

In a landmark victory for the 46-year-old Cork woman, the EHCR found last week that the Irish State had been negligent in failing to protect her from abuse in primary school.

The mother of two was abused by her then-principal, Leo Hickey at Dunderrow National School, Co Cork in the 1970s.

But when she sued the State, the Government denied liability, insisting that it was the school board of management that was responsible.

The EHCR ordered that the Government pay Ms O’Keeffe €30,000 damages and €85,000 in respect of the costs and expenses and arrangements are in train to do that.

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