Reports of serious crime must be taken seriously
Published 12/11/2015 | 02:30
Confirmation that gardaí have begun a criminial investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse by a former government minister have sent shockwaves through the Oireachtas and beyond.
Sadly, we know only too well that the scourge of sexual violence respects no boundaries or borders. The former minister, who has not yet been interviewed by gardaí, is entitled - as we all are - to his constitutionally protected presumption of innocence.
It is vital for all parties that due process takes its course.
However, it is a matter of concern that an alleged male victim is reported to have made a complaint against the former minister 10 years ago. This is not the first time an allegation of failure to progress a complaint of sexual violence has been made against gardaí.
This complaint comes days after the Supreme Court ordered a full hearing of separate cases of two alleged rape victims concerning whether gardaí and prosecution authorities have a duty of care to such alleged victims.
As victims' statutory rights strengthen, the State must ensure it takes reports of serious crime seriously.