Adams challenges Taoiseach on government’s failure to deal with sexual abuse allegations in Lourdes
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today challenged the government on its failure to take action on the allegations of sexual abuse allegations in Lourdes Hospital Drogheda.
Speaking in the Dáil the Louth TD reminded the Taoiseach that he has agreed on three previous occasions in the Dáil to meet opposition leaders on this issue. No meeting has taken place.
Teachta Adams said:
“Last November 23rd the Taoiseach agreed to meet opposition leaders in relation to demands for independent inquiry into sexual abuse allegations in Lourdes Hospital Drogheda.
“At the time he said the meeting would be held before Christmas. He repeated this commitment in January when I raised the matter again. And on March 6th I again raised the issue with the Taoiseach during Leader’s questions and for the third time he agreed to a meeting.
“So far no meetings have occurred.
“It is six months since the Oireachtas Inquiry referendum was defeated and last week I received a PQ response from Minister Reilly rejecting a meeting with the cross party group on this issue and telling me his department is still ‘exploring the options in this regard and I would be open to a meeting at a later date when my Department’s deliberations are at a more advanced stage’.
“It is three years since James Reilly TD, now the Minister for Health, called for an immediate inquiry into the sexual abuse of patients in the Lourdes Hospital. The Taoiseach voted for that motion. So too, while in opposition, did the Tanaiste.
“It is now 17 years since complaints of sexual abuse of patients at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda were first made.
“This is unacceptable. The department has had six months to agree how it would deal with this matter. Some of the 200 victims have been waiting decades for justice and truth. The department is adding to the stress and injustice of this situation by prevaricating and stalling.
The Taoiseach said in the Dáil that he would come back to me on this but he has been saying that for six months. It’s time the government took action.”