• By Maria

The Dublin Rape Crisis  Centre (DRCC) commends both Minister Fitzgerald and Minister Shatter for the Publication of two heads of bills to strengthen Child Protection in Ireland

The DRCC commends Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter for implementing a very important recommendation of the Ryan Report.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive of DRCC said : “The Ryan Report, which was published in 2009 and validated the stories of so many adult victims of child abuse, recommended that Children First Guidelines should be uniformly and consistently implemented throughout the State in dealing with allegations of abuse. The Heads of the Children First Bill was published today by Minister Fitzgerald for consultation, so that the National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children will be put on a statutory basis. Minister Shatter’s bill further strengthens child protection in closing the loophole in the 1998 Offences Against the State Act which provides for an offence of withholding information in relation to serious offences but which excludes sexual offences. The new bill will ensure that there is an obligation on persons who have knowledge of any serious offence including sexual offences against children and vulnerable adults, to inform the Gardai.

Both these Bills will go a long way to ensuring that children and vulnerable adults in the future will not have to suffer the atrocities documented in the many reports published over the years, in particular the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports of the past decade. “


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