Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne has called on the government to stop blocking a redress scheme for children who were abused in State run schools.

It’s almost two months since a Fianna Fáil motion seeking redress for victims of child sex abuse in state-schools, whose perpetrators have been convicted, was passed in the Dáil but there has been no progress on this issue.  Government has point blank refused to take responsibility.

Deputy Byrne said, “My party has raised this issue a number of times, and I have met the Minister for Education on two occasions to discuss the possibility of establishing a redress scheme for abuse victims. However, the Minister is continuing to stall on the issue, despite a Dáil motion being passed in July.

“The refusal by the government to properly deal with the issue is a blatant disregard for the 2014 European Court of Human Rights ruling, which found that the Irish State was liable for the abuse suffered by Cork woman Louise O’Keeffe, who took the case.

“It is rank hypocrisy on the part of the Government on the one hand to rightly criticize failures by the Church authorities in relation to abuse, but on the other hand to totally abdicate their own legal responsibility for these other cases.

“The Minister and his Cabinet colleagues’ refusal to take responsibility is completely unacceptable.  There are hundreds of victims which have been badly let down by the State and deserve to be compensated for the hurt and suffering which was inflicted on them as children.  They were essentially robbed of their childhoods and this government is refusing to acknowledge that.

“The government cannot be allowed to continue to ignore this important issue.  I intend raising it once again with Minister Bruton and my party will ensure that the motion passed in the Dáil in July is acted upon”.