Written Answers. - Industrial Schools Pupil Statistics.

Nora Owen

Question:

295 Mrs. Owen asked the Minister for Health the number of children resident in industrial schools in Ireland.

Twenty-one of the children's residential homes for which I have responsibility are still legally certified as industrial schools under the Children Act, 1908. The homes provide accommodation for approximately 500 children who are in the care of health boards due to neglect, ill-treatment, sexual abuse or other difficulties in the home. It might be noted that section 55 (1) of the Child Care Bill, 1988 proposes to bring to an end the designation of these homes as industrial schools.

I might also mention that my colleague, the Minister for Education, has responsibility for two industrial schools — St. Laurences, Finglas and St. Josephs, Clonmel. These cater in the main for young offenders and provide accommodation for about 130 boys.

Nora Owen

Question:

296 Mrs. Owen asked the Minister for Health the number of children from industrial schools who were placed with families before the introduction of the Adoption Act, 1952.

The information sought by the Deputy is not available in my Department nor, as far as I am aware, is it available from any official source. The collection of this information would require a detailed examination of the records of each of the industrial schools and orphanages, many of which have been closed for many years, and this could not be justified on cost grounds.