Thursday, 14 January 2016
Order of Business
I would like to record my support for Louise O'Keeffe regarding recent media interviews and how she has been treated by the State over successive years. She has demonstrated, not only on her behalf but on behalf of other abuse victims, tenacity and a thirst for justice over many years. She took her initial complaint in 1997 and went to the High Court in 2004, the Supreme Court in 2006, and applied to the European Court of Human Rights in 2009. We have seen this case played out over the terms of three successive Fianna Fáil Governments and, subsequently, this Government.
I have no difficulty with the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Jan O'Sullivan, coming to the House to explain but I would prefer a much more detailed brief on where the State Claims Agency sits on this issue with regard to the other cases. I understand the Minister has said she does not have all the available information to hand and therefore while I have sympathy for the amendment to the Order of Business, I would much prefer to wait on the information from the State Claims Agency.
Any abuse victim will say it is never about the money. It is not and should never be about the money in terms of recompense for very grave and difficult situations in which children were placed. However, every victim should be entitled to recognition for what they suffered and this is one way in which the Government could make redress to those victims concerned.