Tuesday, 26 May 2009


It's been a draining week. Listening to the catalogue of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Irish state and religious orders has been very disturbing. What has caused me most pain is the response of the HSE, assuring us that it can't possibly happen now as there are safeguards in place.

This is not true. These so called safeguards, of which they speak, consist of a voluntary code of practice called The Children First Guidelines. They have no legal basis and are not uniformly implemented across the sate.

Last summer my son was put at risk by a dangerous therapist working for Enable Ireland, an organisation which claims to adhere to these safeguards. When the risk was exposed; they lied, bullied and hired very expensive legal counsel. No action was taken. Although they have been proven to be in breach of Children First Guidelines, there is no sanction available for this breach. I have no where to go with my complaint.

Last week, just prior to the publication of the Ryan report on Institutionalised child abuse in Ireland, they sent me yet another waste of paper in response to their negligence towards my vulnerable son. I am no longer prepared to engage in a game of paper ping pong with people who do not share a decent moral code. This has to stop.

I've had enough, so I wrote this letter:

Director of Services,
Enable Ireland
Seamus Quirke Road

May 25th 2009,

Dear Clare,

I was dismayed to receive a copy of your ‘Protocol for the management of suspected child abuse’ on May 8th last.

The risk, to which my son was exposed, by the lack of adherence to the Children First Guidelines during the dismissal of your speech therapist, has already been established. The time for sending me this document has long since past.

In a week which has seen the publication of the Ryan report on institutional child abuse in this country, it is deeply distressing for me, as a parent, to see that organisations charged with child welfare are still failing our most vulnerable.

Please stop prevaricating, I want you to carry out a full disciplinary hearing on why this was allowed to happen to my son, I want to know exactly how many other children were put at risk. I want cast iron, binding procedures put in place that will ensure this will never happen again.

This is a moral and ethical issue, please stop hiding behind bureaucracy and be big enough to take a stand on child welfare.

I would be grateful if any further correspondence from you detailed only action, not excuses.

Yours sincerely,

I doubt I will get a meaningful response.




Magpie 11 said...


There's not a lot I can say. We have seen the reports on Ryan over here amidst the trauma of Baby Peter.

Your post reminds us that there are many other cases that do not make press headlines and many no doubt that are never discovered by carers or the authorities.

As a teacher I'm glad I always had the nerve (in the face of bureaucracies) to express any suspicions I had...even when they were unproven.. note unproven rather than unfounded.

Good luck.


AnnB said...

It's important we all speak out, while I am in no way comparing what happened to Rory with anything in the Ryan report, I feel it's important to point out that legally, things have not changed. It's deeply frustrating when you've raised the courage to speak out, and no one is listening. Even if they do listen, they are under no obligation to take action. This has got to change if we are ever to hope for a civilized society.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Scary stuff, but you are absolutely right to pin this down.

If anything good is to come of all this mess, maybe it's that we will speak up at the right moments more often.

AnnB said...

Thanks Xbox, particularly scary at the moment as the manager in question has been promoted and is now regional manager for the South and West of Ireland. That's a lot of vulnerable kids.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

That is desperate.