State continuing to fail survivors of historical child sexual abuse – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin TD for Limerick City Maurice Quinlivan tonight said that the State is continuing to fail survivors of historical child sexual abuse by blocking some from accessing redress for the horrendous abuse they suffered as children in school.
Speaking in the Dáil tonight on a motion on the pathway to redress for victims of convicted child sexual abusers, Deputy Quinlivan said;
“I very much welcome this motion here tonight. This is a topic that I have a deep personal interest in, having worked closely for a number of years now with representatives from VOCADS and Creagh Lane, and I am delighted it is now being debated here in the Dáil.
“This motion cites the narrow interpretation Fine Gael have taken with the Louise O’Keeffe judgement, and the hardship this position has caused. The requirement of a prior complaint is a bar so many victims cannot meet, and it is being used as a tool by the government to prevent people from accessing redress. It’s shameful.
“The government’s actions to date on this issue have been despicable, and it is clear they do not understand the hurt and stress they are causing to survivors.
“The fight the men from Creagh Lane have been forced to put up has been huge. They were subjected to the most horrendous sexual abuse as children in Creagh Lane National School in Limerick, but are still denied redress due to barriers put in place by Fine Gael.
“This government has forced them to protest outside the Dáil gates, they have had to try and get their story highlighted in the media, seek a motion in the Dáil and they have travelled to Europe to highlight their injustice in the EU Parliament. Their testimonies on that trip were powerful and will remain with me for the rest of my days.
“I know most of these people personally, many had never spoken about their abuse for years, and their families and friends were unaware what they went through. This government’s failure to give these men the justice they require has meant they have had to re-tell their heart-wrenching stories again and again, reliving the awful experience, and they are being forced to plead for redress, to which they should be fully entitled to.
“This motion tonight calls for the government to provide access to the State’s redress scheme for those citizens who were sexually abused in primary school, whose perpetrators have already been identified and convicted. This is a common sense approach, and it makes no sense that Fine Gael would oppose it.
“The State has failed these men terribly. The State failed to protect them when they were children, in school, at their most vulnerable. The State failed them when the individual who perpetrated the awful abuse was not brought to justice for years on end.
“The State failed these men when they were forced to grow up with no supports or help for the awful trauma they went through, and the State continues to fail them, by putting barriers in their way to redress and making them plead for compensation. I ask Minister Bruton, and this government, to ensure this failure ends here tonight.”