Green Party calls for proper vetting system

THE Green Party yesterday called for proper vetting systems and a register for people unsafe to work with children be established as a matter of urgency.

As the political fallout of the Ferns Report continued, Green Party leader Trevor Sargent identified shortfalls in legal protection for children in Ireland.

Fine Gael spokeswoman on Education Olwyn Enright called for the introduction of better child safety procedures in schools.

Her Labour Party counterpart Jan O’Sullivan also called for a more proactive approach to the prevention and detection of child sexual abuse: The introduction of a comprehensive anti-bullying programme and additional supports and training for teachers are urgently required.

Sinn Fein Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin argued it was “long past the time to enshrine the rights of children as individuals in to the Constitution”.

“It is time we dealt with the issue of child abuse in a coherent, strategic and honest manner, so as to limit if not eliminate the risks posed to vulnerable children in our society,” he said.

Dáil questions

QUESTIONS raised in Dáil by Green Party leader Trevor Sargent:

* Why were there no garda files before 1988?

* Why did gardaí not act on allegations against Fr Grennan?

* Why was a motion highlighting the abuse by a councillor at a meeting of the South Eastern Health Board only supported by one other councillor?

* Why is legislation underpinning the work of the Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, not strong enough?

* Why has the Government not implemented all of the Children’s Act 2001?

* Why does the Garda Code not have guidelines on responding to information on a paedophile coming to light?

* Why the delay in legislation to establish a register of people considered unsafe for work with children?

* Why is the garda central vetting unit not adequately resourced?

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