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The DRCC would like to commend the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews, and his team for the comprehensive implementation plan which when put into action will go a long way to making sure that the atrocities that have been documented in the Ryan Report will never be repeated in Irish Society.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive, DRCC, said “While the adults who were victims as children of the terrible abuses in institutions will never get their lost childhood back, we hope that the commitments by the Minister in this Plan will go some way to easing their pain.

As well as welcoming the Minister’s commitment to putting our Child Protection Guidelines, ‘Children First’, on a statutory footing and extending inspections to include the inspection of Centres for children with disabilities and Separated Children, to name just a couple of the 99 implementation recommendations, we specifically welcome the Minister’s recommendation that the moratorium on recruitment and replacement of staff in the National Counselling Service be lifted. We also note that the Plan recommends ‘buying in’ services from outside agencies. We would hope that the lifting of the moratorium is extended to Rape Crisis Centres who have also been dealing with unprecedented increases in requests for their frontline services, both counselling and telephone helpline, since the launch of the Ryan Report.

The DRCC received over 12,000 calls to its National 24 hour Helpline for victims of rape and sexual abuse in 2008. There has been a significant increase in the number of people seeking the support of our services due to the Ryan Report and we anticipate a further increase when the Dublin Archdiocese Report is launched. The 24 hour Helpline is part operated by trained volunteers and as such offers an amazing value for money service in our current economic climate. With the recommendation for collaboration between public services and NGOs in the field, we can be confident that the necessary services will be provided when the moratorium is lifted. It is totally unacceptable that there are waiting lists for services in this area at this time.

We are very pleased that the Minister is also committed to moving the agenda to have a referendum to include the Rights of the Child in our Constitution.”

For further information please contact:
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO – 01 661 4911 / 086 809 9618

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