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Dáil debate on child protection report needed - O'Brien

29 May, 2017 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Dáil debate on child protection report needed - O'Brien

Following the publication of the Audit of the state’s child protection measures Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien has said that while he acknowledged there is a Commission on Garda reform in place, there are a number of actions that can be taken in the meantime in order to improve the garda role in child protection.

The Cork North Central TD said;

“There are a series of recommendations in this Audit, some of which will have to be addressed by the Garda reform commission in terms of how they are implemented; however there are many that could be implemented immediately.

“The Minister for Justice must immediately produce guidelines on the use of Garda powers under the Child Care Act that state's section 12 powers are only to be used as a last resort.

“Further to this, there are recommendations on improving information that is recorded in PULSE. This is not rocket science. I suspect many of these recommendations are things that the public presume are going on already but simply aren’t.

“There are very obvious training recommendations on child protection and diversity that Sinn Féin have been calling for over the past decade. All that is needed to implement these measures is the political will to do so.

“More serious resourcing will be required to develop specialist child protection units within An Garda Síochána on a national basis. This is not an optional extra for policing in Ireland but a necessity and I am calling for the Minister to ensure that these are established.

“It is not good enough to simply assert that the use of resources is a matter for the Garda Commissioner as per the usual response to questions of this nature.

“We have requested a Dáil debate on the report and I am calling on Minister Frances Fitzgerald to outline her plans to implement these recommendations as a matter of urgency.”

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