Children’s ombudsman receives 54 complaints from Limerick

Childrens Ombudsman Dr Niall Muldoon. Limerick Post Newspaper
Childrens Ombudsman Dr Niall Muldoon

54 of the 1,812 complaints received by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) last year came from Limerick city and county.

The OCO deals with complaints about services for children and is an alternative to court for those who are not happy with responses they have received from government departments and public services.

Its 2022  annual report shows that education was once again the most complained about issue (30%), with  bullying, expulsion or suspension, and special education resources featuring in many of the complaints.

Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, said that 2022 and 2021 were the busiest two years for the OCO since it was established.

“We received over 1,800 complaints, with 54 of these coming from Limerick. It is important that children and families in Limerick and in all parts of the country know that the Ombudsman for Children’s Office is here if you need our help or advice.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

“Our annual report this year is called ‘Falling Behind’ because we wanted to highlight how Ireland is doing in relation to children’s rights and unfortunately, we’re not where we should be.

“The Taoiseach has said that he wants Ireland to be the best country in Europe to be a child. If this is to happen we need to finally incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into legislation 30 years after its ratification.

“We also need to totally reform our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) which we know are hugely dysfunctional and failing our most vulnerable children. Changes also need to be made to provide inclusive education for all children in Ireland.

“The work of the Office in 2022 shows that on many issues, Ireland is starting to fall behind on children’s rights. This was reflected in two major OCO reports which raised concern about the standard of living and child poverty issues, mental health services for children in Ireland, the lack of inclusive school places for all children, and the State’s failure to integrate children’s rights into legislation,” Dr Muldoon added.