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Archive for the ‘Dail Debate on institutional child abuse’ Category

reply from MaryA.White

MaryA.White@oireachtas.ie to me

 

Dear Thomas,

Many thanks for your email. The debate was a very important debate for Dáil Eireann and it was good to see so many deputies took part in the debate.

You are right that it is essential that the State continues to support and encourage victims of abuse in whatever way it can for the remainder of the victims’ lives, and also that the recommendations of the Ryan Report are implemented in full and as soon as possible. I called on the Government to declare a national day of remembrance for all victims of abuse and I hope this is taken up by it in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Mary White

Mary White T.D.

Green Party Deputy Leader

 

Leinster House

Kildare Street

Dublin 2

Ryan Report:Eamon Gilmore replies

eamon.gilmore@oireachtas.ie to me

show details 5:07 PM (9 minutes ago) Reply

I would like to thank you for your message regarding the Ryan Report to Inquire into Child Abuse. I have received many messages from many people both at home and abroad telling of their history and giving their opinion on this shameful treatment of Irish children in the care and responsibility of the religious orders.

Your concerns and your opinions have very much helped us in addressing this difficult issue and in drawing up our own proposed Institutional Child Abuse Bill 2009 (a copy of which follows) . The Labour Party Bill attempts to acknowledge the failure of the State and of the religious congregations to protect children from abuse and that crimes were committed against such children in state care. It also attempts to cover a number of the points which have been raised with me such as the age definition of the child with regard to the legislation and the definition of institution, timeframes with regard to applications, privacy and other issues. It also makes related proposals regarding the financial affairs of the religious congregations.

The Labour Party will be pressing to have this legislation considered by the Dail at the earliest possible opportunity. Thank you again for communicating with me and if there is anything further which you feel might be of help don’t hesitate to contact me.

Eamon Gilmore TD

Labour Party Leader

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State to theTaoiseach

Response from Government Chief Whip and Minister of State to the

Taoiseach

David.Spencer@taoiseach.gov.ie to me

Thomas O Cleirigh

Marlton Road

Wicklow Town

Dear Mr O Cleirigh,

On behalf of the Government Chief Whip and Minister of State to the

Taoiseach, Mr Pat Carey TD, I wish to acknowledge your correspondence

regarding the recent Dáil debate on the Ryan Report.

Minister Carey has noted your comments.

Le gach dea-ghuí

David Spencer

Office of the Government Chief Whip

Department of the Taoiseach

Merrion Street

Dublin 2

Alliance Victim Support

 

 alliance

On my recent attendance of the march to the Dail with fellow victims of Institutional abuse

I came across this victim support group

Check them out   at  www.alliancesupport.org

Tom Hayes is the contact name

TC

Re:The Institutional Child Abuse Bill

Statement by Ruairi Quinn TD

Spokesperson on Education and Science

The Institutional Child Abuse Bill we are launching today is part, but only a part, of an attempt to acknowledge the failure of the State and of religious congregations to protect children from abuse, the pain and suffering they endured and that the Ryan Report vindicates their claims of abusive crimes committed against them by members of religious congregations and others while they were ostensibly in State care or under State supervision.

It goes without saying that the Bill is not of itself a full or satisfactory response. It should also be acknowledged that nothing we can do would undo the damage done to so many children in institutions or adequately compensate them for the physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect and wanton cruelty recorded by the Ryan Report in 216 schools and institutions.

However, in the Bill we are trying to deal with a number of specific issues of serious concern to the survivors of abuse that have been raised with Labour Party TDs by individual constituents or publicly by representative groups.

The publication of the Ryan Report shocked Irish society to its core and created a new understanding understand that the abuses carried out in these institutions have left a enduring legacy of pain and suffering. There is now a groundswell of public goodwill towards those who suffered abuse and a desire to see their outstanding grievances addressed.

The proposals in the Bill are set out in easily understandable form in the ‘Principal Features’ document included in your press pack, but I would like to refer to a few of them.

One of the principal complaints we have received is that some people for very legitimate reasons missed out on the deadline for applications to the Redress Board. This issue has particularly been raised with us by groups in Britain who represent people who simply did not know about the existence of the Redress Board or who were simply too ill or traumatised to be able to apply. Others were excluded because they were abused in an institution which was not listed in the Schedule to the Redress Act. Others lost out because, although they were underage under the law as it stood at the time they were in institutions, they would not be considered to be underage in modern law.

Our Bill seeks to correct all these defects. It also deals with concerns of abuse survivors that, in some way, they have a criminal record by virtue of having been committed to one of these Institutions. The Bill proposes that those persons must be treated for all purposes in law as persons who have not committed or been charged with or prosecuted for or convicted of or sentenced for any offence. Their records will, in other words, be wiped clean.

The Bill proposes the deletion of section 28 (6) of the Redress Act which prohibits an applicant to the Board from publishing any information concerning their application to or their award by the Redress Board, if it refers to any other person or institution by name or could reasonably lead to the identification of another person or an institution. This effectively prohibited applicants from recounting the stories of their childhood.

There have also been reports that both the Redress Board and the Child Abuse Commission may be considering the destruction of documents they hold relating to the testimony or witnesses or other papers. To destroy these documents would add insult to injury for those who suffered abuse.

The Bill insists therefore that, when it comes to making a order for the dissolution of the Board or the Commission, the Minister must include in the order his or her proposals for the maintenance of these records and to provide access to them “as a consistent reminder of the damage done to children whose upbringing, care and welfare was consigned to the State”.

This is a serious effort by the Labour Party to address matters of concern that have been raised with us. We don’t claim any monopoly on wisdom in this area and we would be happy to hear suggestions as to how the Bill might be improved or strengthened. Of course as an opposition party we have only very limited Private Members Time. We would be very happy for the government to take over the Bill and to have in enacted in government time. This would be the speediest and most effective way to proceed.

This statement is very welcome but I come back to the question of a way forward now for the victims of these Institutions

See my letter to Deputy Joe Costello

 

TC

Deputy Joe Costello


Deputy Joe Costello

Speaking on the Adjournment Motion in Dáil Éireann Deputy Joe Costello said that the Department of Education and Science should open a Book of Condolences for the victims of child abuse.

Virtually all the children in the Reformatories, Industrial Schools and Marlborough House were of school going age. The Department of Education had a statutory responsibility to fund, inspect and supervise the welfare and the education of those children while they remained in these institutions up to the age of sixteen.

Quite clearly they were negligent and failed to do so as the needs of the institutions were put before the needs of the children.

Consequently the educational provision and the educational attainment of the children in the words of the Ryan Report were deplorable. Indeed, the Department of Education was for decades a major obstacle to children and their parents obtaining any redress or satisfaction when they made complaints in relation to the treatment experienced by the children in the institutions under the supervision of the Department of Education.

I believe that the Department of Education which has failed the children entrusted to their care should now as a State institution in its own right make a symbolic statement of apology and atonement by opening a Book of Condolences in its main office in Marlborough Street in Dublin 1.

Dear Mr. Costello,

As a survivor of the institutional abuse by the Christian Brothers in St Josephs school in Tralee and as the Last registered inmate to Artian Industrial school I call upon you to support me and all others who wish now to obtain the education that was deprived of us in our youth .

As a 53 year old now I have No hope of obtaining any employment without any formal educational qualifications.

It makes no sense for me to do a Fas Course and then end up back on the dole

Many others want to go back to full time education (as mature students) and I believe that the State should now support this without any means testing

TC


Tommy Broughan T.D.

Dear Thomas,

Thanks again for your email and comments on the Ryan Report and its implications for the Irish State today.

The Labour Party is to publish a Bill today the Institutional Child Abuse Bill, to deal with a number of issues of concern to victims of abuse in religious run institutions. Please be assured that the Labour Party will continue to do everything possible both inside and outside Dail Eireann to address all of the very important issues that you raised in your email.

Please keep in touch,

Very Best Wishes,

Tommy Broughan T.D.

Thank you again

Thomas Clarke

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