Taoiseach would be ‘upset’ if school delayed reporting

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Education Minister Richard Bruton have both spoken out about the alleged assault of a 13-year-old boy at a Dublin boarding school.

Mr Kenny said he would be “very upset” if reports about the delays in reporting the alleged assault to gardaí were true.

The incident is reported to have taken place on Thursday, November 24, at The King’s Hospital School and there was allegedly a delay in reporting the incident to the relevant authorities. The school has disputed this but did not provide a timeline.

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

Speaking in New York yesterday, Mr Kenny said: “We have enshrined in the Constitution a minister for children and support for both the Department of Education and Tusla (the child and family agency).”

While Mr Kenny said that Mr Bruton was “exceptionally distressed” about the allegations, he said it was not his place to comment any further until the authorities have carried out a full investigation.

Also speaking on the matter yesterday was Mr Bruton, who described the allegations as “very disturbing”.

“I think [the allegation] here is very disturbing, there’s no doubt about that, but there are now authorities investigating this.

“The primary responsibility is obviously [with] the gardaí in respect of some elements and Tusla in respect of child protection.”

He said any parent “would be worried” about such an incident.

“Clearly this is a matter that worries — any parent would be worried about an incident such as this but I think we have to step back and allow those that have the authority to investigate to get the time and space to do that,” the education minister added.

Last night, a spokesman for the school issued a statement in response to the alleged reporting delay.

The spokesman said they did not want to prejudice the investigation but that it was “imperative” to correct any inaccuracies.

“An Garda Síochána and Tusla are currently investigating an alleged incident which occurred at The King’s Hospital School on 24 November 2016,” he said. “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 management and staff have actioned the correct procedures and requirements, including liaising with the appropriate agencies.

“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.”

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