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Lord Mayor’s Statement on abuse suffered by Children in Residential Institutions

Press Statement 17th June 2010.

Lord Mayor’s Statement on abuse suffered by Children in Residential Institutions.

At its meeting on 14th June 2010, Dublin City Council debated the findings of recent reports on the issue of the abuse suffered by children in this country. Cllr. Mannix Flynn put forward the motion and also called on the Lord Mayor to issue a public statement, acknowledging that the abuse had happened, and expressing sorrow and regret at what had happened to children at the hands of the church and the state. Cllr. Flynn read a statement into the record covering the issue of child abuse in general, with reference to the findings of the Murphy, Ryan and Ferns Reports. “Finally after decades everybody accepts that what happened to thousands of children was awful. But it wasn’t just awful, it was criminal and so far the only people who have been criminalised in this whole sorry tale are those children sent by the courts to these institutions and that’s simply not good enough”, said Cllr. Flynn.

He also called on fellow Councillors to lend their support for a new Charter for Children and a new Bill of Rights. The ensuing debate involved several Councillors, all of whom expressed their solidarity with the victims of abuse in childhood. The Lord Mayor commented that the debate was extremely moving and that the sentiments expressed by Cllr. Flynn had resonated throughout the Council Chamber, evidenced by the expressions of support given by his fellow Councillors and Management, who expressed their regret and sorrow at what had happened most especially to children who were criminalised and incarcerated under the Non-Attendance of School Act. The Lord Mayor stated that she fully supported and endorsed Cllr. Flynn’s motion, which was unanimously carried, and formally read it into the record of the City Council. She expressed her deep concern and regret at the abusive treatment to which children had been subjected, and emphasised the necessity to bring the perpetrators of these appalling crimes to justice. She added that the City Council would facilitate, where possible, the provision of relevant minutes of School Attendance Board Meetings through an archivist’s report, while respecting the sensitivities of the victims involved.

Ends.

For further information – please contact Lord Mayor, Cllr. Emer Costello at Tel: 086 3831805 or Cllr. Mannix Flynn at Tel: 087-2246664

Note to Editor

FULL TEXT OF MOTION – COUNCILLOR MANNIX FLYNN

That this Committee calls on the Lord Mayor, Councillor Emer Costello to issue a statement in relation to the Dublin Diocesan Report and its findings also that the Lord Mayor call a debate on the issue in chambers. Dublin City Councillors have a role to play in how the safety and the welfare of our children is managed and that this Council issue a statement of regret and apology to all those who were abused in residential institutions. The then Dublin Corporation administrated the Non-attendance of School Act on behalf of the Department of Justice. Children were brought before the Children’s Court under this act and incarcerated for long periods of time throughout their childhoods where they suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of those whose care they were entrusted. It is the duty of the now Dublin City Council to acknowledge its role in the history of residential institutions and set its record straight in the interest of healing and reconciliation. I believe it is now time for us to take this positive, responsible position.