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Full disclosure from HSE on children’s deaths essential – Ó Caoláin

24 May, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that the claim by the HSE that they are still unaware of the full extent of children’s deaths in their care over the past five years is “astonishing”.

He stated:

“The Assistant Director of Children and Family Services in the HSE, Phil Garland, stated on ‘Morning Ireland’ today (24 May) that the HSE is still unaware of the numbers of children who have died in their care over the past five years. This is astonishing, given the fact that the HSE has already offered the Minister for Children and the public the figure of 23 children who died, the murder of Daniel McAnaspie bringing that figure to 24.

“That the true number of deaths may be as high as 200 surely highlights the crisis in child protection services in this State.

“Full disclosure from the HSE on the deaths of all these children, including details of the services provided to them, or which the HSE failed to provide, is essential.

“The recent Children’s Ombudsman Report concluded that the HSE, from its establishment in 2005 until 2009, made insufficient efforts to drive forward implementation of the ‘Children First’, child protection guidelines. Poor administration was uncovered across the HSE. Clearly this affects not only the process of identifying and protecting children at risk but also the system of care provision which has been repeatedly exposed as totally inadequate.” ENDS

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