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Sinn Féin welcome O’Keefe ECHR ruling on child abuse in schools - O'Brien

28 January, 2014 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking today, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien welcomed the ruling in favour of Louise O’Keefe in the European Court of Human Rights and called on the Government to respond appropriately.

The Cork North Central TD said;

“Ms.O’Keefe suffered terrible abuse as a child in school at the hands of a school principal and the unfortunately the Supreme Court had saw fit to say that the State was not liable for the abuse she suffered despite the fact that they paid the teacher’s wages and inspected the classrooms.

“Every step of the way, the state did everything possible to attempt to thwart her pursuit of justice for her case, and even attempted to stop her case going to the European Court of Human Rights.

“Undoubtedly, the state has a role to protect children in the education system regardless of the independence of the board of management. The European Court of Human Rights have now agreed with this and clarified that the state is responsible.

“The Ryan Report demonstrated quite clearly the failure of the state to protect the most vulnerable children, and while the government has apologised they have continue to fail those children by placing obstacles in the way of people such as Louise O’Keefe.

“It is believed that there are around 200 other cases waiting to be dealt with by the state of children who were abused in schools. I am calling on the Government to address these as a matter of urgency so that victims of child abuse may be spared an ordeal similar to Louise O’Keefe.”

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