The Ombudsman for Children has criticised the HSE and the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, for implementing “virtually none” of the recommendations made in a HSE-commissioned review of child sexual abuse services — five years ago.

Niall Muldoon described the Mott MacDonald-written National Review of Sexual Abuse Services for Children and Young People as having “a real vision”.

“It’s a real dark shadow on them [to not have implemented this], they have only been tinkering around the edges,” Dr Muldoon told the Irish Examiner. “Even if we do it five years later, we have to do it. We can’t afford to wait another five years.”

The report, published in June 2011, acknowledged that there were “examples of good practice”around the country but much is “driven through personal networks and contacts as opposed to developed and appropriate processes and protocols”.

The report’s authors said children should have equal access to a multi-disciplinary team of professionals regardless of time of day or geography. They also urged faster initial assessments by social workers and the putting in place of a “consistent and equitable” medical service across the country.

They also criticised communication in the sector, inconsistency in therapy services, referral routes and wait times for therapy.

It said fundamental concerns must be addressed to ensure “there is improved, consistent and standardised provision of sexual abuse and sexual assault services nationally ”.

Tusla took over as the lead agency in the area when it was set up two years ago. Last year, the Department of Children announced that an out-of-hours social work service would be put in place. It also stated its commitment to joint interviewing with gardaí.


Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

HUSBAND and wife Justin and Jenny Green run Ballyvolane House, in Castlelyons, Co Cork. The mansion and former dairy farm, which was built in 1728, is where Justin grew up. Raised to Scottish parents in Hong Kong, Jenny met fellow hotelier Justin while working in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Having worked in the UK and Bali, they returned to manage Ballyvolane House, as an Irish country house, in 2004.Parents for the Planet: Green family has greener outlook at country house

More From The Irish Examiner