Sinn Féin - On Your Side

The reviews in the Ó Lubhlaí case must be broadened – Ó Clochartaigh

18 April, 2013


 Leagan Gaeilge Thíos – Irish Version Follows

Although he welcomes the announcement that the reviews into sexual abuse allegations against the former head of Cumann na bhFiann, Dónall Ó Lubhlaí, have been extended to the Department of Education and Skills and the Health Service Executive, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh says that, in his opinion, this is not enough.

In answering a question put down by Ó Clochartaigh in the Seanad last night, Minister of State John Perry, on behalf of the Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence, expressed his ‘sympathy with all those who have been affected’, saying ‘we all regret greatly the dreadful experiences they endured’. The Minister continued by saying ‘it is incumbent on any organisation which may have been used by a person to facilitate their evil deeds to examine carefully how this may have occurred and make sure that its procedures will not allow it to recur’. He confirmed that the Garda Commissioner, the Department of Education and Skills and the HSE are conducting internal reviews on foot of a direction from the Department of Justice.  

The Galway West Senator believes, however, that this review must be broadened. “Firstly, I believe we need an independent inquiry mechanism. Unfortunately, our history in this country,  of State organisations reviewing themselves is not great and that is what is happening in this case. It is not enough, for example, that the Gárdaí are reviewing their own actions, when there may have been serious shortcomings in how they conducted their own business”, he says.  

“Other people also have questions to answer. The former Minister for the Gaeltacht, Éamon Ó Cuív, said on TG4 that he and Department of the Gaeltacht officials had been given information in the 1990’s about allegations of abuse, there were also people in State, voluntary and other organisations, who worked and supported projects of Ó Lubhlaí’s and we must ascertain if they had any knowledge of abuse and whether they acted appropriately  if they had any suspicions?”, according to the Sinn Féin Senator.

“It is reported that a court case taken against Ó Lubhlaí fell in 1992 because certain pieces of evidence were not available and because of the delays by the State in bringing the case to court. We must have clarification as to whether that is true, what role the DPP and Attorney General’s offices had in that process and whether there were any difficulties in those offices which impeded the procedures of law and justice in this case at the time, or at any other time”, says Ó Clochartaigh.

“It has also come to light that Dónall Ó Lubhlaí had recently been visiting schools to promote a book he had written. Does the Department of Education, or any other individual in a position of authority, have any questions to answer with regard to allowing someone who has had serious allegations of sexual abuse against them access to mix with children in this way?”, asks Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.  

“Finally, the Ministers statement is a good first step. I particularly welcome the support extended to the victims in this case, because it is essential that the appropriate health & counselling supports are made available to them at this very difficult time in their lives. It is also imperative that people have full confidence in the investigative process so that they are comfortable coming forward with any information they may have in relation to assaults against them, or other people. There may also be people now who knew, or had dealings with Donall Ó Lubhlaí over the years, who realise they have information which may shed light on these cases, who didn’t appreciate the relevance of the information heretofore, but do now due to the allegations which have come into the public domain recently and I urge them to come forward at this stage to the appropriate authorities with any information they have”, says the Sinn Féin Senator.

“The truth must come out as to what really happened in this case and we must clarify whether the State was remiss, or not, in any way so we can ensure as much as is possible that this may never happen again”, says Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

ENDS

__________________

Caithfear athbhreithnithe ar chás Uí Lubhlaí a leathnú – Ó Clochartaigh

Cé go bhfáiltíonn an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh roimh an scéala go bhfuil na hathbhreithnithe maidir leis na líomhaintí faoi ionsaithe gnéis ó iar-cheannasai Chumann na bhFiann, Dónall Ó Lubhlaí, le leathnú go dtí an Roinn Oideachais & Scileanna agus Feidhmeannas na Seirbhíse Sláinte, ní leor sin dar leis.

I bhfreagra ar cheist a chuir Ó Clochartaigh sa tSeanad aréir, léirigh an tAire Stáit, John Perry, ar son an tAire Dlí agus Cirt, ‘a chomhbhrón leo sin ar fad ar cuireadh isteach orthu agus an méid a d’fhulaing siad’. Dúirt an tAire go raibh ‘dualgas ar eagraíocht ar bith a bhí úsáidte chun a gcuid gníomhartha oilc a chuir chun cinn, imscrúdú a dhéanamh orthu féin féachaint cén chaoi ar tharla sé agus cinntiú nach bhféadfadh a leithéad tarlú arís’. Dhearbhaigh an tAire go bhfuil Coimisinéir na nGárdaí, an Roinn Oideachais & Scileanna agus an FSS i mbun athbhreithnithe inmheánacha faoi seo, mar thoradh ar threoir uaidh.

“Sílimse go gcaithfear an t-athbhreithniú seo a leathnú. I dtosach, measaim go mbeidh gá le fiosrúchán neamhspleách. Faraor, sa Stát seo níl stair ró-mhaith againn d’eagrais stáit ag déanamh athbhreithniú orthu féin agus sin atá iarrtha sa chás seo. Ní leor, mar shampla, go mbeadh na Gárdaí ag déanamh athbhreithniú ar na Gárdai, dar liom, nuair a d’fhéadfadh lochtanna a bheith ar an gcaoi ar iompar siad iad féin”, a deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar.

“Tá ceisteanna le freagairt ag dreamanna eile chomh maith. Thug an tIar Aire Gaeltachta, Éamon Ó Cuív, le fios ar TG4 go raibh eolas áirithe tugtha dó féin agus Feidhmeannaigh i Roinn na Gaeltachta sna 90aí faoi ionsaithe a déanadh orthu, bhí daoine a bhí ag obair agus ag tacú le tograí Uí Lubhlaí in eagrais Stáit & deonacha eile agus caithfear ceist a chuir an raibh fhios acu sin aon rud, nó ar fheidhmigh siad mar is cóir má bhí aon amhras orthu?”, dar le Seanadóir Shinn Féin.

“Thit cás cúirte in éadan Uí Lubhlaí sna cuirteanna i 1992, a thuairiscítear, de bharr fianaise nach raibh ar fáil agus moilleadóireacht ó thaobh an Stát de. Ní mhór soiléiriú cén chaoi ar tharla sé sin, cén ról a bhí ag Stiúrthóir na nIonchúiseamh Poiblí agus Oifig an Ard Aighne sa gcás agus an raibh deacrachtaí anseo nár chuidigh leis an bpróiséis dlí agus cirt ag an am sin, nó ag aon am eile”, a deir Ó Clochartaigh.

“Is cosúil freisin, go raibh Dónall Ó Lubhlaí ag dul isteach i scoileanna le tamall anuas ag díol leabhair a bhí scríofa aige. An bhfuil aon cheisteanna le freagairt ag an Roinn Oideachais, nó aon duine eile i ról údarásach,  maidir le deis a thabhairt do dhuine a raibh na liomhaintí tromchúiseacha seo curtha ina leith, a bheith ag meascadh le páistí ar an gcaoi seo?”,  a deir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

“Ar deireadh, is céim maith chun tosaigh ráiteas an Aire. Fáiltím ach go h-áirithe roimh an tacaíocht a léirigh sé do na h-íospartaigh sa chás seo, mar tá sé ríthábhachtach go mbeadh cóir leighis agus comhairleoireachta le fáil dóibh ag an am fíor dheacair seo ina saoil. Ní mhór freisin go mbeadh muinín iomlán ag daoine as an bpróiséas iniúchta, le go mbeidh siad sásta teacht chun cinn le pé eolas eile atá acu maidir le h-ionsaithe a déanadh orthu féin, nó ar aon duine eile. Seans freisin go mbeidh daoine eile a raibh aithne, nó teagmháil acu le Dónall Ó Lubhlaí anuas tríd na blianta, a mbeadh eolas ábharach acu faoi na cásanna seo, nar thuig an tábhacht a bhain leis an t-eolas ag an am, ach a thuigeann anois de bharr na líomhaintí atá tagtha chun solais agus impím orthu sin chomh maith labhairt leis na húdaráis cuí”, a deir Seanadóir Shinn Féin.

“Caithfidh muid an fhírinne a fháil faoi gach ar thit amach sa chás seo agus cinntiú nach raibh faillí ar bith déanta ag an Stát agus oiread cosaint agus gur féidir a thabhairt nach dtarlóidh sé arís”, a deir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

CRÍOCH

Connect with Sinn Féin