6 Feb 2009

Child abuse report delayed eight years

Irish Times - February 6, 2009


MINISTER OF State for Health John Moloney has accepted it was “a nonsense” for the publication of a report into child abuse to be delayed eight years.

He was responding in the Dáil to Fine Gael spokesman on children Alan Shatter who demanded publication of the Hynes Report into the abuse of children with intellectual disabilities in institutions run by the Brothers of Charity in Galway.

Mr Shatter, who was refused publication of the report through a Freedom of Information request, was told the public interest would be harmed by its “premature release”.

“How can it be a premature release as we are now 10 years on from when the Western Health Board was first asked to investigate the scandal?” Mr Shatter asked.

The Minister, who apologised that he was not able to provide direct answers, said: “I agree that it is nonsensical for it to take eight years for any report to come to public notice and examination.

“I will try to relay the views that have been quite properly put by the deputy rather than just giving the standard response.”

Mr Shatter said: “I genuinely thank the Minister of State for that. It is an unusual occurrence but I appreciate it.”

It was “an absolute scandal and disgrace” that those who came forward “were left for eight years without knowing any outcome”, he said.

Mr Moloney said he would try to arrange a meeting between Mr Shatter and officials “to see how we can move this on”.

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