RTÉ investigates shows a broken, dysfunctional Child Protection system – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has heavily criticised Túsla following the publication of a truly damning report by Ireland’s Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Geoffrey Shannon.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire has called for Ministers Zappone and Fitzgerald to come before the Dáil tomorrow to answer questions in relation to Mr Shannon’s report and the RTÉ Investigates report. He also said the CEO of Túsla, Fred McBride should consider his position carefully following these latest revelations.
Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire stated;
"Tonights report, as well as that of Geoffrey Shannon is deeply shocking and absolutely harrowing. Ireland has a deeply troubled history in the area of Child Protection, but it is clear that this continues to this very day.
“As if this morning’s report was not damning enough, what was revealed on Claire Byrne Live this evening is quite frightening; with both exposing some very fundamental flaws. It is absolutely chilling to think of 'Mark' still being in that situation, of potential abuse, after numerous reports.
"Túsla is at the head of a broken, dysfunctional Child Protection System. Children are being put at risk, and left is situations of risk, every day, avoidably, and unnecessarily. The most vulnerable are yet again being failed.
"Túsla, and the Minister, have to take responsibility for this, as do the Gardaí. There must be a full Dáil debate, and Ministers Zappone and Fitzgerald should come into the Dáil tomorrow to answer questions on this issue.
"Successive Ministers, including the Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald, and Minister Zappone, have failed to invest adequately, or grasp the nettle of resolving our rotten child protection infrastructure. That needs to end, now.
"When Túsla was set up, it was heralded as a new dawn for Child Protection in Ireland - that has proven not to be the case, it is proving just as dysfunctional and flawed as what went before it. When it was set up Sinn Féin warned that without adequate resources and a change in culture it would fail. That has proven to be the case.
"I believe that Fred McBride needs to consider his position carefully, following these revelations, and needs to outline what he has done as CEO to rectify the failings outlined in these reports. He and his organisation has serious questions to answer and he should appear before the Children’s Committee as soon as possible.
“Interagency cooperation between Túsla and Gardaí was described by 500 Gardaí who performed section 12 as superficial and inadequate. There is also limited and inadequate formal training for Gardaí in this area.
“Given Túsla’s role as the primary agency with responsibility for Child Protection it’s frustrating that it has taken such an audit for them to as much as consider their approach to interagency cooperation.
“Furthermore, I am extremely disappointed with Túsla’s initial statement, which they later withdrew, claiming that Dr Shannon had not approached them in during the compilation of this report.
“I would hope this was a case of misinformation on behalf of the author of the initial statement, rather than a cynical attempt to question the integrity of Dr Shannon.
“Finally, the audit which was published this morning has been described as ground-breaking, and is, as far as I am aware, the first of its kind, It is a valuable piece of public service by Dr Geoffrey Shannon."