Saturday 24 March 2018

New child abuse allegations at small school

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
John Downing

John Downing

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised a Dáil report about new allegations of physical and sexual abuse at a small country school.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the abuse was documented in a report by the Children's Ombudsman and happened as recently as 2005/2006. He said he knew that a child who made allegations about the school had written to Mr Kenny.

In the Dáil, Mr Martin called for an independent expert panel to investigate the case at the unnamed school as he said the Ombudsman's report was particularly damning.

He said he was concerned that three separate authorities - the Department of Education, the Health Service Executive and the school board of management - had not responded appropriately to the situation.

"The Ombudsman for Children's report is saying that this was not handled properly by any of the three bodies involved," Mr Martin said.

He said the gardaí now accepted its original investigation was not up to standard and it was being renewed, as fresh allegations were received.

"That was all in 2005/2006, not 50 years ago, 30 years ago, not 20 years ago,'' Mr Martin said.

The Taoiseach said he was aware of the case and added that the issue was being examined by the gardaí, the Departments of Health, Justice and Education, as well as the child protection authority, Tusla, and the parents of the children at the school.

"I'm quite prepared to come back to you when I have more clarity," Mr Kenny said.

He added that the report awaited from Tusla was required before he could make any comment.

"There is no place for this kind of activity in any school or in any home in the country," the Taoiseach said.

Mr Kenny said it was a sensitive case which must be properly investigated and he was aware of the implications of the Ombudsman's report.


Irish Independent

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