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Services for the protection of children must be provided - Doherty

28 May, 2008


Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has said the nightmare of child abuse is not a thing of the past and that the state today will be just as culpable as it was in the past if services for the protection of children are not put in place.

Speaking as a Seanad debate on child abuse took place today Senator Doherty said, "We may never know exactly how many children died of neglect and ill treatment in institutions. Our first concern should be the survivors of abuse and the memory of those who did not survive. Many survivors became so marginalized and damaged from their abuse that they were never able to avail of the commission or the redress board. We know that many of them ended up homeless on the streets of London and other foreign cities.

"The report from the Commission on Child Abuse must be published as soon as it is finished. There must be no more cover ups or confusion.

"The recent Prime Time Investigates programme has exposed the woefully inadequate state of our child protection services with insufficient numbers of social workers and other front-line workers in place. The HSE is aware of cases where children are in grave danger but the services are not in place to make the interventions required.

"The nightmare of child abuse is not a thing of the past. It is happening every day. Most of this abuse takes place in the family home. If adequate services for the protection of children are not put in place then the State today will be just as culpable as it was in the past when it conspired with the Church to cover up the abuse of children." ENDS

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