A group of sexual abuse survivors from Creagh Lane National School in Limerick deserve access to a redress scheme for the abuse they suffered at the hands of a teacher employed by the state.
That’s the view of Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan who travelled to Brussels with the men to highlight their case at the European Parliament earlier this week.
Deputy Quinlivan said that the visit, which was organised by Munster Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada, helped shine a light on the disgraceful way the Irish government continues to treat them.
“I travelled to Brussels this week with a group of extremely brave and courageous men who were sexually abused while they were children in Creagh Lane National School, by a teacher employed by the state. However, they cannot access the redress scheme, as it was a day school and not a residential institution.
“The suffering these men experienced while children in national school is difficult to comprehend, and to hear them tell their stories was shocking and heart-breaking.
“The modest and belated redress scheme established by Government in the wake of the Louise O’Keeffe case was designed to be inaccessible and to effectively lock survivors out. Many brave men and women, who did a service to the state in seeing their attackers tried and convicted, are now being fought tooth and nail by the state.
“The Irish state is, in effect, re-traumatising those who have endured the most horrific trauma,” Deputy Quinlivan stated.
“As an Irish parliamentarian, I am embarrassed that these men have been forced to travel to Brussels to bring attention to their case, and gather support for it, and fight for compensation that they should be absolutely entitled to.
“I was also very disappointed that no Fine Gael MEP turned up to hear these men’s stories, after they travelled to Europe to tell of their experience.
“This is not just a case about a handful of individuals; their case cuts to the heart of how we, as a nation, treat those we have wronged.
“Until we have a government with the fortitude to face up to our many wrongs as a nation, Ireland will continue to be judged by the pain of those we have failed.
“The Minister and this government need to immediately revisit their refusal to make compensation available for these men, who have endured a terrible ordeal, and continue to suffer a great injustice,” Deputy Quinlivan concluded.
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