After the Cabinet took time to review the abuse inquiry’s 20 recommendations, Minister for Children Barry Andrews will finally announce the Government’s response to the Ryan report tomorrow. The Government is expected to outline plans for increased counselling and a response to calls for a memorial for victims.
Victims of institutional abuse last night set out their demands urging the minister to put them first. Christine Buckley, a survivor of abuse and founder of the Aislinn Centre, said: “The memorial is very important. We hope that it is in a meaningful place like a main street of Ireland, like O’Connell Street. I’d like to see all the recommendations [brought in] that Justice Ryan has recommended.”
The report into abuse in religious-run institutions recommended that a memorial bear the words of the state apology made by then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in 1999.
It also suggested ways to develop a national childcare policy, called for increased supervision and inspections of childcare facilities as well as a follow-up system to complaints of victims.
The Ryan report recommendations also advised that more counselling, education and family tracing services should be provided in the wake of the inquiry.
Ms Buckley said yesterday abuse victims wanted a number of recommendations prioritised.
“We’d like to see increased inspections for children who are in foster care or residential care, that would be very important,” she added.
The leading abuse victim supporter also said inspections of facilities for the disabled, both for children and adults, needed to be prioritised by the Government.
Mr Andrews’ spokeswoman yesterday said measures would be announced tomorrow.
While it remains unclear how many of Justice Ryan’s 20 suggestions have been accepted by the Government, the Cabinet are believed to have been broadly receptive of the report’s recommendations.
Meanwhile, abuse victims living in Britain met over the weekend to discuss how their cases were being addressed. It is thought that there could be anywhere between 7,000 and 10,000 Irish people living in Britain who went through religious-run institutions.
Victims met at the London Irish Centre to step up a campaign over concerns that their cases were not included in the redress board or Ryan report because the former pupils were unaware of the inquiry.
A lawyer for the victims told RTÉ that their cases needed to be addressed by the Minister for Children.
Matthias Kelly QC said: “These people simply did not know about the scheme. It’s not their fault that they didn’t know.”