Tuesday 16 January 2018

In brief: State to publish law on mandatory reporting of child abuse after 17 years

Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald

SEVENTEEN years after it was first promised, the Government will finally publish a law tomorrow to make the reporting of child abuse mandatory. The legislation will be published by Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

One regular feature of Ireland's endemic list of child abuse scandals is that on many occasions the abuse of children was suspected or known but not reported to the authorities. The Children First Bill 2014, which was approved by the Cabinet last week, will put existing voluntary guidelines in the 'Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children' on a statutory footing.

Under the new bill's provisions, those who will be legally mandated to report their suspicions include members of the clergy, teachers, medical practitioners, nurses, psychologists, pre-school carers, youth workers, social workers, gardai, emergency paramedical staff and probation officers.


Mandatory training should be given to airline crews and airport staff to ensure they are equipped to spot potential victims of trafficking, according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

New figures released by Justice Minister Alan Shatter showed that gardai identified 106 suspected victims of trafficking for forced labour since 2008, including four people already this year. The Immigrant Council said that international estimates say the levels of trafficking for sexual exploitation are three times higher.

Nusha Yonkova, anti-trafficking co-ordinator with the council, said that: "Across Europe, it is clear that trafficking of human beings is our biggest crime – bigger even than the drug trade."


Drugs including cocaine and ecstasy with an estimated value of €75,000 have been seized by gardai in Newbridge in Kildare. Gardai from the Kildare District Drugs Unit seized the assorted drugs following the planned search of a premises in Newbridge on Friday night at around 10pm.

The drugs seized included cannabis herb, plants, and resin as well as cocaine and ecstasy. A 38-year-old man was arrested and charged by gardai. He is scheduled to appear at a sitting of Naas District Court this morning.


Up to 20,000 people will converge in London to show their support for the World Irish Dancing Championships which open today. In excess of 5,000 dancers will compete in solo, ceili, modern figure choreography and dance drama categories. It is being held at the Hilton London Metropole hotel in the city centre, and the dance extravaganza will run for eight days until April 20.

The event will mark the first time that London has hosted the championships. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: "With thousands of people expected to come and soak up the atmosphere, the championships will be a fantastic jamboree of dance and a vital boost to London's economy."


Hundreds of volunteers swung into action to clean up Dublin's River Dodder, removing unsightly items littering its banks. Designated Dodder Day, the community effort involved areas including Tallaght, Rathfarnham, Milltown, Ballsbridge and other city districts, with the aim of removing rubbish along the river's route, which was supported by local councils, and organised as part of An Taisce's National Spring Clean.

Among those who took part in the initiative yesterday was Dublin Labour MEP Emer Costello who said: "Sadly the state of the river leads a lot to be desired and it's necessary that the community pitches in to remove litter which is not only potentially dangerous to its wildlife but also an eyesore."


Over 1.3 million viewers tuned in to RTE's range of special programmes on the State visit by President Michael D Higgins to the UK, according to its figures.

It said that Morning Edition's specially extended programme last Tuesday which included coverage of Mr Higgins meeting the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall before departing for Windsor Castle was the highest-rated programme of the series for the year to date.


The Goethe Institute Choir and the Dublin Symphony Orchestra will be performing Faure's Requiem together with pieces from Bach and Schubert at the annual Good Friday Concert in aid of the Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups which will take place in St Patrick's Cathedral at 8.00pm.

Tickets are €25 and are available at the door, or for more details call 01 8735126 or see www.carmichaelcentre.ie.


The jackpot in last night's Lotto draw was €2m. The numbers drawn were: 4, 6, 12, 22, 29, 36 and the bonus number was 33. The numbers drawn in the Lotto Plus One draw were: 18, 28, 29, 34, 35, 43 (bonus 38). In the Lotto Plus 2 draw, the numbers were: 1, 3, 11, 23, 25, 29 (bonus 30).


The body of a man was located at the summit of Howth in north Dublin early yesterday afternoon. The Dublin Coast Guard had received a request from gardai on Friday for assistance to locate a missing man.

Sunday Independent

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