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Ó Caoláin - Government has dealt appallingly with child abuse scandal

10 September, 2003

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said the issue of institutionalised child abuse is being dealt with "appallingly" by the Government and the Taoiseach has failed to give political leadership. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"The response of the Government to the resignation letter of Justice Laffoy flatly contradicts the statement of the Taoiseach that he accepts the judge's criticisms. The Government in fact refutes much of her valid criticism of the handling of this issue by the Minister for Education and his Department. The Taoiseach's remarks amounted to an admission of massive incompetence but the Government's detailed response to Justice Laffoy reveals something much worse - gross mismanagement and a disregard for the rights and sensitivities of victims.

"The Taoiseach has failed to give political leadership since the resignation of Justice Laffoy and instead has been more concerned to insulate his public image from the damaging fallout. Hence his feigned acceptance of the judge's criticism which is contradicted by the Government's statement.

"The Taoiseach should explain why he and his Cabinet colleagues agreed to the disgraceful deal between Minister Dempsey's predecessor Michael Woods and the religious orders. That deal and the current debacle over the Laffoy Commission, run totally counter to the historic apology to the victims which the Taoiseach issued on behalf of the State." ENDS

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