Dáil debates

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Child Abuse

10:25 pm

Photo of Josepha MadiganJosepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I hear the Deputy's concern and his genuine compassion for the people on whose behalf he is speaking. It is important to stress the issues involved are highly sensitive and complex and therefore require careful deliberation before any proposals can be finalised or brought to the Government. It is important to have a complete awareness and understanding of the extent of the issues that are arising, the number of people who could potentially be involved, the legal implications of any course of action, and an accurate estimate of likely costs before a new or modified scheme is determined. As I mentioned earlier, my understanding is the Minister for Education, Deputy Foley, will bring a proposal to the Government. The review is ongoing and the Minister hopes to be in a position to bring forward a modified scheme once the review is fully completed.

I am not in a position to comment on individual cases or schools. I am aware, however, that survivors of day school abuse are pursuing cases through the civil courts and are receiving settlements either through the courts or on an out-of-court basis. I am not in a position to comment on whether it could be extended in the future or to give a date. I can only reiterate that it is a priority for the Minister.

Recognition is important. As Deputy Quinlivan noted, the former Taoiseach, Deputy Varadkar, apologised on behalf of the State in July 2019. It is important that everyone is looked after as well as they can be. Having said that, the issues I outlined must be taken into account.


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