Brid Smith welcomes ECHR ruling against State over School abuse

Cllr. Brid Smith welcomed the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling against the Irish State for failing to meet its obligation to protect children from the sexual abuse.

Commenting Cllr. Brid Smith said: “I very much welcome today’s ruling by the ERCH and I commend Louise O’Keeffe for her courage and determined persistence in fighting for justice for herself and all victims of abuse in this country. I call on the Government to pay, without delay, all the Court ordered compensation to Ms O’Keefe.

“For far too long the Irish State has ignored, dismissed and resisted victims of abuse who have had to fight for the tiniest bit of justice or acknowledgment. Today’s ERCH’s ruling made it very clear that the level of abuse against children in Ireland was systematic and the State “had to have been aware of the level of sexual crime” against children in this country. But it has only been through the persistence of dedicated fighters and campaigners like Louise O’Keeffe that these shocking stories of abuse have been revealed. The State, like the Catholic Church, has been content to bury its head in the sand and pretend this abuse never happened.

“We need to learn the lessons from this ruling. The Irish State can no longer abandon its obligations to provide State education for children in this country and religious institutions cannot be allowed to dominate the education system. Instead we need a publicly funded, secular education system in this country that serves the needs of children.”