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Government must fulfil obligations to provide redress to survivors of abuse in schools – Kathleen Funchion TD and Pa Daly TD

17 December, 2020 - by Kathleen Funchion TD, Pa Daly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, and spokesperson on Law Reform, Pa Daly TD, have written to the Children’s Minister urging him to take action to ensure survivors of child abuse have access to appropriate redress schemes.

A new report by Ireland’s Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Conor O’Mahony has accused the state of breaching Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights due to its failure to re-open the redress scheme for survivors of abuse in schools since it closed pending review last year.

Teachta Funchion said:

“The abuse that children were subjected to in schools throughout the last century has been absolutely appalling. We know from survivors’ testimonies that the state was often aware of abuse at the time yet failed to put a stop to it or protect other children from becoming victims.

“Many survivors have spoken of their deep distress and pain at the abuse they were forced to endure in schools; compounded by how society and the state colluded in a culture of tolerating it.

“Survivors deserve redress. Their stories must be listened to respectfully and learned from so that this never happens again. We cannot continue to sweep this issue under the carpet.

“It is shameful that the Government is continuing to fail victims. We have written to the Minister expressing our grave concern at this report by Rapporteur O’Mahony and urging him to address its contents urgently.

“The Minister must continue to liaise with and listen to survivors of abuse at schools to ensure that their concerns are heard.”

Teachta Daly said:

“The state has a clear obligation to ensure survivors of abuse have adequate and appropriate access to redress. It is clear that the Government is falling far short of these obligations.

“I am concerned that the Government’s failure to act on this in a timely way could cause further distress for survivors.

“The state has a duty to ensure that an appropriate redress scheme is put in place and that it fulfils its statutory obligations as outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights.”

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