Sunday 18 March 2018

EU court: State has to protect vulnerable citizens

The European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights

IT has been a week of mixed fortunes on the issue of child protection, a week where the past has collided with the future. The official launch of the new Child and Family Agency, combining the child protection, family support and educational welfare arms of the State, was overshadowed by European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling in the Louise O'Keeffe case.

It was also eclipsed by claims by Brendan Comiskey, the former Bishop of Ferns, that an "extraordinary amount" of revelations concerning child abuse in the wider Irish society are yet to be exposed.

Ms O'Keeffe, who was sexually abused in a national school in the 1970s by a lay teacher, fought and lost a lengthy Supreme Court battle to make the State vicariously responsible for the abuse which occurred in the Catholic-controlled school.

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