Body cites resource issues for delays in bringing in new measures to investigate child sexual abuse

A Government-appointed body has cited resource issues for delays in implementing key Garda Inspectorate recommendations regarding the investigation of child sexual abuse.

The high-level committee also said that one of the main Inspectorate recommendations, initially made in 2012, for regional specialist centres to provide all therapeutic and investigative services to child victims of sexual abuse could take up to five years to roll out.

The group said recommendations to prevent online child abuse material, such as the blocking and take down of websites, is a “complex issue” and subject to the advice of the Attorney General.

The inter-agency group rejected one of the 103 Inspectorate recommendations outright – regarding calls for missing persons' officers to be appointed to local specialist units – while a further 13 either required further evaluation by the agencies or further clarification from the inspectorate.

Some 75 actions were accepted, and a further 14 were accepted but with modification, with implementation ranging from short term, to medium term (June 2020), to long term (up to five years).

The inter-agency implementation group was established in February 2018, following the Inspectorate's report 'Responding to Child Sexual Abuse' which was a follow-on review of an examination it had conducted in 2012.

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