Waterford case raises further questions regarding Túsla procedures
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Children and Youth affairs, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said that this weekends revelations regarding Bill Kenneally in Waterford raise further questions about the manner in which 'historic' child protection cases are handled.
Mr Kenneally pleaded guilty to abusing boys in the 1980s in Waterford and is currently serving a 14-year sentence, however, a basketball club he was involved in was never informed of the allegations by the HSE.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said;
"These revelations further underline the fact that Túsla, and before that, the HSE, have had major procedural failures in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse.
"This week Túsla CEO Fred McBride was in the Childrens Committee. He essentially acknowledged that there are significant challenges regarding allegations of a historical nature and that it is a lower priority.
"My concern is that, increasingly, it appears that historical cases have no priority at all and that more and more we are seeing that Túsla, and the HSE before it, failing to follow up adequately and in some instances assign staff to cases of historical abuse even where the complaint is relatively recent.
"While in some instances difficulties may exist regarding access to evidence and verifying allegations, in this instance, the victims had contacted the Gardaí and the Gardaí have set in train a criminal prosecution. So there is no excuse for saying that Túsla could not follow up. They should have ensured that children were not at risk. As it was, he was still a member of a Basketball club committee.
"The Minister needs to ensure that Túsla gets to grips with its historical abuse cases. In many instances potential abusers, against whom allegations may have been made, are potentially still a risk to children. I believe the Minister should discuss this with Túsla and ensure new protocols are put in place to ensure the highest standards in Child Protection."