Latest: Taoiseach would be 'very upset' if allegations around delay in reporting are true

Latest: Taoiseach would be 'very upset' if allegations around delay in reporting are true

Update 8.50pm: Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he would be "very upset" if the allegations around a delay in reporting an alleged sexual assault of a boy at a school to Gardaí are true, writes Elaine Loughlin, Irish Examiner.

Detectives are looking for witnesses following allegations that 13-year-old boy was sexually assaulted last Thursday by eight other pupils at Kings Hospital school in Palmerstown.

Mr Kenny said "children are central to government" and hoped that the allegations would be dealt with "quickly and effectively" by the authorities.

Speaking in New York Mr Kenny said: "We have enshrined in the constitution a Minster for Children and support for both the department of education and Tusla.

"Clearly Minister Bruton has expressed a serious concern about this. I know that the authorities have now been informed – Tusla and the Gardaí.

The Minister for Education is exceptionally distressed about this as would be the allegations with respect of the main pupil involved. Ireland has very strong child security systems.

Mr Kenny added that it wouldn't be for him to comment on the nature of the allegations until the authorities have carried out a full investigation of this.

Update 8.30pm: RTÉ Drivetime this evening looked at the Child Protection polices of the Church of Ireland. Mary Wilson was joined by Dr Ken Fennelly, who is the Secretary to the Board of Education at the Church of Ireland.

On the show, Dr. Fennelly said that he first heard of the alleged assault of the 13-year-old boy earlier this week from a journalist who contacted him about it.

"Though I should put that into context; the school wouldn't be under any obligation to tell us - to tell me here. We in the Church of Ireland Board of Education, we're responsible as an advisory body for primary schools, not for secondary, and their obligation would be to the statutory authorities, not to us. In fact, it would have been a breach of procedure if they had told us anyway," he said.

"We had a role to make sure that nobody was in danger and that the statutory authorities had been notified."

Listen to the full audio below. Credit to RTÉ Drivetime.

Update 5.46pm: The Dublin school at the centre of recent sexual assault allegations has issued a statement this evening.

Detectives are looking for witnesses following allegations that 13-year-old boy was sexually assaulted last Thursday by eight other pupils at Kings Hospital school in Palmerstown.

“An Garda Síochána and TUSLA are currently investigating an alleged incident which occurred at The King's Hospital School on 24 November 2016,” the statement read.

“We cannot make any statement which might prejudice those investigations. However, it is imperative that certain inaccuracies reported in the media which have caused understandable anxiety to parents of our pupils and to the wider public are corrected.

“The safety, health and welfare of the student concerned, and all students have from the very outset been and will continue to be the priority for every member of staff at The King's Hospital.

“The management and staff have actioned the correct procedures and requirements, including liaising with the appropriate agencies.

“We also ensured that the parents of the alleged victim and of the students allegedly involved were briefed as soon as possible.

“At no stage did the management and staff fail to act on legal advice. Neither did the school seek advice from the State agencies by using hypothetical scenarios.

“The King's Hospital will not make any further comment until the investigations are complete.

Earlier:

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has not ruled out an investigation into allegations that a Dublin school delayed reporting an alleged sexual assault of a boy.

Gardaí and the child and family agency Tusla have been investigating since Tuesday.

The 13- year-old allegedly told the King's Hospital school last Friday that he was sexual assaulted the night before by eight other pupils.

Asked about the reported delay and if she would launch an investigation, Minister Zappone said: "I have to wait to see what comes back in relation to this initial investigation, and then we'll take the next steps."

Latest: Taoiseach would be 'very upset' if allegations around delay in reporting are true


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