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TDs and Senators call for independent inquiry into sexual abuse allegations in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda

15 December, 2011 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President and TD for Louth Gerry Adams, and party colleague Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, along with Oireachtas colleagues from other parties, have today called on “the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to establish an independent Inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda in the years from 1964 to 1994.”

The Sinn Féin leader commended the victims for their “determination and bravery” in pursuing this issue for many decades.

Mr Adams said:

“I have attended a number of meetings organised by the patient support and advocacy organisation Dignity4Patients.

“At these meetings many of the victims of the alleged abuse spoke movingly of their anger and frustration and great hurt at the failure of the state to properly deal with this issue.

“They have campaigned for decades for an Inquiry.

“They seek truth and justice and to have their stories heard.

“This government has a responsibility to ensure they get it.

“I want to praise the diligence and tenacity of Dignity4Patients and I especially want to commend the victims.

“Their determination and bravery made today’s unique initiative possible.

“Two years ago Fine Gael and Labour criticised the refusal of the then Minister for Health to hold an inquiry.

“At that time the Taoiseach said they were wrong to do this.

“The Taoiseach now has the power and authority to do what wasn’t done then – to right a grievous wrong.

“The Tánaiste and the Minister for Health also supported the demand for an inquiry.

“Decades after the first abuse occurred this government has the opportunity to take the necessary steps to support the victims and provide a mechanism through which the truth can be revealed.

“It is also very important that the public are reassured that the systemic failures in the health service, that allowed this situation to continue for so long, have been corrected.

“An independent Commission of Inquiry should therefore be established quickly.

“Dignity for Patients should be consulted with on its terms of reference.

“I would also ask that the funding arrangements for Dignity4Patients is reviewed and that they receive the necessary core funding that will allow this group of dedicated people continue with their vital work on behalf of victims.” ENDS

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