Tuesday, 14 May 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Micheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
On several occasions, I have raised with the Taoiseach and the former and current Ministers for Education and Skills, Deputies Bruton and McHugh, the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, judgment in the Louise O'Keeffe case and its aftermath and the degree to which victims have been shamefully, cynically and cruelly treated by the Government in recent years. The ultimate cruelty is to announce a redress scheme knowing that in effect the victims will never pass the test of prior complaint. That is the cruellest thing to do to any victim of sexual abuse and someone who has been through that trauma. Essentially, that is what has happened despite it having been pointed out to the Taoiseach and to the Minister time and again.
When will Mr. Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill's report be published and sent to the Minister? When will the issue of prior complaint be removed once and for all? It is an appalling insult to suggest that the only way a person is worthy of inclusion in a redress scheme is for someone who had been abused previously to have reported it to the authorities. It is reprehensible.