Monday, May 17, 2010


Within the last week -
Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan reminded us yet again that the HSE was failing to properly implement the State’s Children First Guidelines.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin reminded us that strong forces within the Catholic Church still did not want the truth about the cover up of the sexual abuse of children by priests to emerge and added that there are worrying signs that despite solid regulations and norms these are not being followed throughout the Church with the rigour required.

This morning Ian Elliott of The National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) within the Catholic Church reported that within some areas of the church the commitment to put the safety of children before any other considerations has been tempered by a mistaken belief that it is possible to continue with past and familiar practices. This he said has led to a reliance on a defensive legal response when complaints emerge rather than a focus on safeguarding concerns and the elimination of risk to other vulnerable young people.

And on Friday last we were treated to the sight of Minister for Children Barry Andrews defend the failure of schools to properly implement Stay Safe & SPHE programmes in schools because such schools were entitled to their religious ethos.

This failure to advance the safety, welfare and protection of children is unforgiveable given what we have learned from the publication of the Ferns, Ryan and Murphy Reports and the Reports into the deaths of Tracey Fay and David Foley.

Part of the solution to the failures these Reports expose is the placing of Children First on a statutory basis and properly enshrining the rights of children into the Constitution. I repeat my call for the Government to advance this work as a matter of urgency – its continued failure to do so to date is an absolute disgrace.

END - 17/05/2010


  1. This is not a comment on your article,it is a question in light of all the abuse cover-ups in this country.If someone made a formal complaint to the gardi in 2004 about their child been sexually,physically,and mentally abused and you heard nothing about the complaint since,what are you supposed to think?
    Are other peoples children different from Michael Mc Dowells? I know for a "fact"that children from a working-class back-ground are given a different kind of"due process"than those from Michael Mc Dowells background.They are also given a different kind of "justice"by our courts.

  2. If I made a formal complaint in 2004 I would have done so with legal representation and would have ensured that Gardai were left in no doubt that the matter was to be pursued as far as possible - not all complaints lead to charge or conviction as I'm sure you know. I agree not everyone's experience of the justice system is one of fairness and justice but I would not agree that it is all as clear cut as you suggest.

  3. How clear cut can a case of abuse be?From my lifes experience its a matter of class as to how a criminal case is investigated.Fr,Niall Molloy vs Larry Murphy?You can see the face of the victim on facebook.There was an interpreter there but no legal representation as you suggested in your reply.Does that mean the case is treated differently because there was no legal representation there?If so how many more abuse cases are out-there?I appreciate your reply thanks.