One in Four today says that the newly published reports on the abuse of “Grace” reveal shocking but familiar failures by statutory agencies to protect the most vulnerable children in our society.

Executive Director Maeve Lewis says I find it unbearable to think of the suffering endured by Grace and the other children involved.  I also find it unbearable to think that these vulnerable people will have to endure the impact of the abuse they sustained as long as they live. I am ashamed that such torment could have happened to children who were in the care of the Irish State.

There has been a deluge of Inquiries and Investigations dealing with failures by statutory child protection services.  To name a few, let us remember the Kilkenny Incest Case, the Madonna House Case, the Ryan Report, the Roscommon Case, the Death of Children in care Report – it goes on and on.   A core finding of most of these reports has been that people know that something was amiss and failed to act.  Another common feature is that nobody is ever held accountable.  Each of these reports has also produced a long list of recommendations to prevent future failures, but many of them have never been implemented.

I am glad there will be an investigation into the matter, but I have to be somewhat cynical that it will cause a radical change in how we protect our children.  We need to acknowledge that our child protection services are woefully under-resourced and as a result children regularly fall through the safety net.   And we need to ask ourselves what kind of a society we have created where we heedlessly accept that children are routinely placed at risk of abuse and neglect. “



FOR COMMENT: Maeve Lewis, Executive Director, One in Four 087 7584080