Irish Republican News · February 2, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Govt still hindering abuse inquiry - Laffoy

Justice Laffoy has strongly criticised the Dublin government, the religious congregations and lawyers in the third interim report of the Commission into Child Abuse, published yesterday.

Justice Laffoy, whose resignation as chair of the commission came into effect last month, said the commission's ability to perform its functions was hindered by the government's failure to co-operate.

Specifically she said the Department of Education and Science had not adopted a constructive approach to dealing with its role in the inquiry.

She said for over two years the investigation committee asked the Department to fulfil its statutory obligations.

``Despite this, as of now, the direction issued on 10th March, 2003 has not been properly complied with,'' she said.

Opposition politicians and abuse victims have now insisted that the inquiry be taken away from the Department of Education.

* In its first and only report so far into specific allegations, the commission found evidence of neglect, emotional, sexual and physical abuse at an industrial school in west Cork in the 1930s and 1940s. ``Severe physical punishment was a constant feature of discipline'' at Baltimore Fisheries School.

There was one serial abuser on the staff of the school during the period, and ``as a matter of probability'' other abusers. The sexual abuse included buggery, and was accompanied by ``aggression and violence'', while the committee also found that older boys abused younger residents at the school.

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