The Systemic Abuse of the Past will Never be Allowed to Happen Again

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Joint Statement by Barnardos, CARI, Childrens Rights Alliance, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, ISPCC and One in Four

We welcome the agreed resolution adopted by the Dáil this morning, and the expressed intention by the Government to meet the religious congregations, and to press for a major additional contribution to an independent trust.

We call on the four party leaders, who signed this morning’s motion, to meet with the survivors’ groups together, prior to any meeting between the government and the congregations. The purpose of this meeting would be to enable the Party Leaders personally, to convey the terms of the apology to survivors, and critically, to consult with survivors about their demands in advance of the Government’s meeting with the religious congregations.

We have now had a useful and positive set of meetings with Party Leaders on the issues we raised in our “Never Again” statement issued on May 26th. We have met the Leaders of Fine Gael, Labour, The Green Party and Sinn Fein, together with their colleagues, in that order.

The Taoiseach has asked us to meet the Minister for Children, and that meeting will take place tomorrow, Friday 29th, at 1.30p.m. in the Minister’s Office in Hawkins House.

At each of these meetings we have pressed for a referendum on the rights of children, for the State’s child protection standards to be given the force of law, for an independent body to monitor the implementation of standards, in particular where there are no standards and no inspection at present – children with disabilities in residential settings, children in St. Patrick’s Institution and separated children, and for a range of other critical measures including out-of-hours services.

We have been heartened by the support we have received from the political system so far, and we are determined to achieve fundamental change so that the children of Ireland can be assured that the systemic abuse of the past will never be allowed to happen again.

Fergus Finlay, Barnardos – 087 624 0717
Mary Flaherty, CARI – 087 958 2250
Jillian van Turnhout, CRA – 087 233 3784
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, DRCC – 086 809 9618
Ashley Balbirnie, ISPCC – 087 989 0620
Maeve Lewis, One in Four – 087 758 4080

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