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Over 1,500 children suffer abuse or serious neglect in Ireland each year

THERE are now more than 1,500 confirmed reports of abuse and serious neglect of children each year, Children's Minister Frances FitzGerald has revealed. She was speaking at the launch of the new website of the Child Care Law Reporting Project – www.childlawproject.ie.

Minister FitzGerald said: "The courts play a vitally important role in the child protection and welfare system and the decisions of judges have significant implications for service provision and children's outcomes. I am delighted that for the first time we can now access quality reports on the workings of these courts and on matters such as statistical trends and different approaches adopted in different court areas."

"I believe the findings of the Project will greatly inform policy development and decision-making by Government as we continue to work to transform Ireland's child and family services," she added.

Half of teaching assistants assaulted

ALMOST 60 per cent of special needs assistants have been assaulted by the children they work with, according to a survey conducted by Impact trade union. Some 90 per cent of those who have been assaulted have experienced assaults more than once, with 18 per cent saying it's a daily occurrence and the same number saying it happens every week.

Assaults listed in the survey included hitting, biting, shoving, attempted strangulation, hair-pulling, scratching, slapping, pushing and being hit with objects.

Heaney to launch literary centre

SEAMUS Heaney will celebrate literature in translation in an evening of readings of his poetry in Trinity College Chapel on Thursday April 11 as part of Trinity Week.

The event will mark the public launch of the Centre for Literary Translation, which has been established to develop, promote and support literary translation. It is a three-way partnership between the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland Literature Exchange and the Dalkey Archive Press. Heaney will be joined by six of his long-standing translators.

Students want help for jobless youth

THE Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has called for significant investment in the Youth Guarantee scheme as Eurostat figures show an unemployment rate of 30.8 per cent among Ireland's under 25s. According to the USI, this is an increase of 0.4 per cent on January's figures and comes despite the Government's promise at the outset of its European Presidency to make youth employment a priority.

The scheme aims to provide employment, education or training for people under 25 within four months of becoming unemployed.

Irish Independent