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.”

People Before Profit’s European election candidate for Dublin, Cllr. Brid Smith is calling for full disclosure from Oxigen and the Enviromental Protection Agency about the nature of the hazardous waste on the premises in Ballymount during the recent fire. She is calling on the EPA to immediately disclose any potential dangers for local communities.

Commenting, Cllr. Brid Smith said:

“Smoke and fumes from the Ballymout fire poured over the adjacent housing estates in Walkinstown, Drimnagh, Crumlin and Rialto. Local communities are naturally very concerned about any potential dangers to their areas following the fire. Of partcilar concern is asbestos.

“The Oxigen plant in Ballymount is licenced by the EPA to act as a Transfer Station for Hazardous Waste, mainly asbestos. According to their annual report for 2012 in total 3,342 tons of hazardous waste was received in that year, of which 1,789 tons contained asbestos, amounting to more than half the total.

“Asbestos is extremely dangerous if breathed in and the local people have a right to know if they have been exposed to this danger. An Inquiry, with full disclosure of what was contained in the fire and any potential side effects for local communities, is urgently required. “