• By Admin

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive, DRCC, said “On a budget day when we anticipated a lot of bad news it is very welcome to see that the Government is putting our children where they rightfully belong, at the top of our responsibility agenda. By allocating €3million in 2010 for a referendum on the rights of the child, at last, we will have the opportunity as a nation to vote for enshrining the rights of our children in our constitution where they rightfully belong.

We have been horrified by the levels of abuse our children have suffered in institutions across the state and by the cover up of child sexual abuse in the Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin. The state, by following through on the implementation plan that Minister Andrews presented to us after the Ryan Report, is showing leadership and stepping up to the plate for our children. By making resources available to HIQUA to implement independent registration and inspection systems for all residential services for children with disabilities, brings some of the most vulnerable in society under the welcome protection umbrella of the state. All our children deserve the protection that we can now afford them.

The DRCC in particular welcomes the announcement of Minister Andrews to make provision for extra counselling for adult survivors of child abuse. The centre’s 24 hour helpline has been inundated with calls from adults whose memories have been triggered by the horrendous revelations of both the Ryan and Murphy reports. While these people will never get their childhoods back they will certainly be able to get the support they need to manage their pain and loss and to hopefully get on with living full lives. They will definitely be heartened to know that the state is now taking these atrocities very seriously and putting in place the proper services and policies and procedures to ensure the protection of children now and in the future. These atrocities must never happen again.

While the unreserved apology from the Irish Catholic bishops tonight is welcome it is not enough. It is not enough that the bishops will ask what they call the “independent National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, to explore how policy and practice to safeguard children can be assessed.” While the Board is located in Maynooth and under the Catholic Church it is not independent. This Board has to be subjected to the same rigours of inspection as all other state institutions who have responsibility for safeguarding children, otherwise it is meaningless.

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

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