Child Abuse Investigation into Cork School as a result of Senator Mark Daly’s Speech in the Chamber

As a result of his speech in the Seanad on the 27th of July 2011 regarding allegations of Child Abuse at a boarding school in Cork three investigations were initiated.

Since information was given to the Senator, regarding a member of staff who may have been responsible for child abuse at a boarding school in Cork, he investigated the accusations for many months and assured himself that there was credible evidence and serious cause for concern. During his research Senator Daly uncovered that there were 7 allegations of alleged abuse in the school which were reported to the Gardai between 1996 and 2008 however no prosecutions was taken by the DPP. The Senator engaged with state agencies, victim support groups and the Missionary of the Sacred Heart to ensure that  vulnerable children were protected or possible victims of the alleged abusers received help .
Despite initially stating that they would do everything they could, it became evident that the order were more interested in protecting themselves rather than helping any one. It was only after the head of the Missionary’s of the Sacred Heart  refused to reach out to victims that Senator Daly took the extraordinary step of speaking in the Seanad and naming an alleged abuser. To date The National Council for Safeguarding Children have completed a preliminary inquiry into the Missionary of the Sacred Heart. The Health Service Executive are currently undertaking an investigation of the Order. The Gardai have a large team of detectives investigating the allegations made, which has lead to hopes that on this occasion the DPP will pursue a prosecution.

Senator Daly is working with victims and the relevant authorities to get counselling for the victims and pursue all legal options available.

Statement by Executive Director of the Child Abuse support organisation One in Four, Maeve Lewis following Senator Dalys Speech on the 27th July 2011

“Senator Daly was placed in an impossible position. He was contacted as a public representative by people who gave him plausible and compelling information that they had been abused by this person and that they had exhausted all possible legal avenues. Senator Daly had two choices: to do nothing and hope that another child would not be sexually abused or to act in order to protect children. I do not envy him this moral quandary. Ultimately, he decided to act. We are all well aware of the horrendous consequences of secrecy and silence therefore, in this particular instance, One in Four supports his decision.”

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