City councillor Mary Leahy has called for the immediate establishment of an integrated children’s response team for child protection to be made available on a 24 hour seven day week basis.
“The Ryan Report published recently has numbed most people in the community,” says the Renmore Fianna Fail councillor. “This issue has been raised with me on the doorsteps and by telephone since the release of the report.
“Children are the most vulnerable and innocent members of our society and deserve to be protected at all times, from all types of abuse, be it emotional, physical, sexual or through neglect. Child abuse does not take place only between the hours of 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.”
“She says there are many “fine” organisations already providing these services to children. However, the absence of an integrated 24 hour co-ordinated response is a major weakness within our child protection services.
Cllr Leahy has written to Children’s Minister Barry Andrews asking him to immediately roll out a nationwide public information campaign on how to recognise and report child abuse.
“The lack of information among the public is startling. Justice delayed is justice denied and a lack of information on recognising and reporting child abuse will result in children remaining at unnecessary risk.”
Cllr Leahy has also proposed that local city and county managers open a book of solidarity for members of the public to sign at both city and county Hall.
“This has already been done in Dublin but as abuse occurred nationwide a countrywide facility would afford the public the opportunity to offer their solidarity with victims both living and deceased.”