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Arrest and charge those complicit in child abuse cover up – McDonald

28 November, 2009

Commenting this morning on the report on clerical sexual abuse of children in the Dublin Diocese Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald said anyone found to have covered up the abuse of children should be arrested and face the full rigours of the law.

Ms. McDonald described the State’s child protection services as a disgrace and said sadly the abuse of children continues today.

Ms. McDonald said:

“The report on clerical sexual abuse of children in Dublin exposes how the most powerful men in the Catholic Church in the Dublin Diocese conspired to protect abusers of children. It was a gross betrayal of generations of children.

“It is especially damning that the State authorities facilitated the cover-up and allowed the Church to be beyond the reach of the law. Senior Gardai, up to and including the level of Commissioner, repeatedly turned a blind eye to crimes of clerical sexual abuse.

“Anyone, including Gardaí, found to be complicit in the cover up of child abuse must be arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law.

“The Government must take immediate action in response to the Report’s finding that the legislation governing the role of the HSE in dealing with child sexual abuse is inadequate.

“Like the Ryan Report, this report must prompt the Government to act urgently to protect vulnerable children today. Another recent report led to the closure of the facility at Ballydowd. It exposes serious deficits in standards aimed at safeguarding vulnerable children.

“Sadly child abuse is not a thing of the past and is continuing today and, to the shame of successive Governments in this state our child protection services are a disgrace. The HSE knows of cases where children are in grave danger but the services are not in place to make the interventions required.

“If the State does not put in place the services for the protection of children then it will be just as culpable as it was in the past when it facilitated the cover up of child sex abuse.” ENDS

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