Sinn Féin - On Your Side

"State Institutions such as the HSE and Tusla continuing to fail children" - Senator Paul Gavan

5 March, 2017 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Fein Senator Paul Gavan has called on all political parties to pledge to build a true Republic based on the principles of Equality, Inclusion and Full Separation of Church and State in the wake of the shameful revelations about the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

The remains of 800 infants and toddlers were found at the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam Co Galway. They were buried between 1925 and 1961.

Senator Gavan said:

" The shocking and shameful revelations point to a time in the relatively recent past when the Catholic Church and its institutions ruled this state with little if any regard for the people, and callous disregard for women and children in particular. At that time the State effectively outsourced the care of vulnerable children to the Church."

"Fast forward to the present time and we see State Institutions such as the HSE and Tusla continuing to fail children. The shortage of resources to deal with vulnerable children is nothing short of scandalous. At the beginning of last year there were almost 1,100 high priority child protection cases still awaiting to be allocated a social work team. We have 11 percent of children living in poverty and over 2,000 children homeless at the present time."

The Castleconnell based Senator, who is Education Spokesperson for his party in the Seanad continued "Meanwhile in 2017 the Catholic Church continues to control over 95% of our national schools. We have an awful long way to go to build the Republic that our people deserve."

" In the wake of these horrific revelations with regard to Tuam I believe it is incumbent on all politicians to pledge that they will ensure that today adequate resources are provided to protect all of the children in this State, particularly the most vulnerable."

Senator Gavan concluded "We also need to ensure that our education system is fit for purpose and brought under democratic control. It's hard to credit that Catholic Bishops still have a major say over who is appointed throughout the vast majority of our national schools network."

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