Friday 6 December 2019

Taoiseach to meet with survivor Louise over compensation deal

Louise O'Keeffe
Louise O'Keeffe

Ralph Riegel and Caroline Crawford

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny will meet the Irish mother who won a landmark European Court ruling over national school abuse next week in a bid to hammer out a victim compensation deal.

The State must pay Louise O'Keeffe €115,000 for the abuse she endured in a primary school after a landmark European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling last January.

The Taoiseach is to meet with Ms O'Keeffe in Dublin on Thursday alongside Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan and Children's Minister Dr James Reilly.

Ms O'Keeffe has been adamant that the State must treat all abuse victims equally after concerns the ECHR decision may not guarantee compensation for other Irish abuse victims.

In a hard hitting speech Ms O'Keeffe claimed the Government is continuing to "bully" abuse survivors into dropping cases. Speaking at the launch of 'The Bullies' Predatory Footprint', Ms O'Keeffe revealed how she felt bullied not only by her abuser but by the State.

"Along the way during the 15-and-and-half years they [the State] intimidated and as far as I'm concerned bullied other victims who had also taken cases into dropping cases," she said.

"I had to take a civil case to highlight the fact that what happened 40 years ago and more could still happen in our schools today and the State would still take the same attitude, they would bully you to drop the case," she said.

"The highest authorities in the State are showing how to bully and it's wrong," she added.

While the ECHR decision is binding in relation to Ms O'Keeffe, it has not been interpreted to date by the Government as applicable to over 200 other abuse victims who have signalled potential actions.

Irish Independent

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