Thursday 19 January 2017

If only we felt as strongly about child abuse as we do about paying for water

How many more children must be abused in the care of the State before we make tackling the issue a priority, wonders Eilis O'Hanlon

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 17/04/2016 | 02:30

Enda Kenny: 'The words do not exist to describe, adequately, the depth and volume of the revulsion we feel about the alleged abuse and failures' Photo: Maxwell Photography
Enda Kenny: 'The words do not exist to describe, adequately, the depth and volume of the revulsion we feel about the alleged abuse and failures' Photo: Maxwell Photography

The horrific case of "Grace", the young woman with intellectual disabilities who was left in a foster home in the south east for years after an allegation of abuse by a former resident, broke in the New Year as attention was focused on the coming election.

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Now another case has emerged, as negotiations continue on the formation of a minority government. This latest scandal was uncovered by RTE's Investigations Unit and concerns a young girl in a foster home in the west of the country who alleged that she, and another girl who'd been living there for more than a decade, had been abused by an 18-year-old man in the house. Her claims were found to be "credible" by the HSE, but two other children, including the girl the original complaint alleged was being abused, were allowed to remain on the premises.

A file was sent to the DPP, but there was no prosecution.

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