Pathway to Redress for Victims of Convicted Child Sexual Abusers: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Willie O'Dea on Wednesday, 4 July 2018:
That Dáil Éireann:
notes:
— the 2014 European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) judgment on the Louise O’Keeffe case;
— that the interpretation and application of this judgment is omitting sex abuse victims even when their perpetrators have been convicted because they have not made a prior complaint;
— that this interpretation is failing abysmally to apply justice to sex abuse victims whose perpetrators have not only been identified but also been convicted;
— that the State Claims Agency manages litigation in cases of alleged child sexual abuse in schools taken against the State and it is authorised to offer out-of-court settlements to citizens that come within the terms of the ECHR judgment;
— that only seven out-of-court settlements have been offered to date;
— that retired High Court judge, Mr. Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill, was appointed in November 2017 to independently assess eligibility of sex abuse applications to an ex gratia scheme but only 21 applications have been received; and
— the pre-conditions are causing huge distress to the victims involved;
agrees that it is unjust that citizens, who have been sexually abused by people who were employed by the State in primary schools and whose perpetrators were subsequently convicted of sex abuse, are excluded from the State’s own redress scheme because they are unable to prove a prior complaint; and
calls for access to the State’s redress scheme for those citizens who were sexually abused in primary school, whose perpetrators have already been identified and convicted, on the same terms as has been afforded to those in residential institutions.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
“notes that:
- sexual abuse, and child sexual abuse in particular, is a heinous crime wherever and however it occurs;
- everything that can be done should be done to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice and to ensure that those responsible for such crimes provide redress to the victims;
- in respect of residential institutions, the State accepted that it shared responsibility for abuse along with those who staffed and managed the institutions since, as set out in the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Ryan Report), the State was responsible for committing children to the institutions, for licensing their operation and for directly inspecting the institutions with respect to the care and protection of children within them;
- under the now-closed Residential Institutions Redress Scheme, over €1.24 billion was paid to some 15,000 survivors of abuse, the bulk of this coming from taxpayers’ funds;
- in respect of day schools, the 2014 European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) judgment found that the State failed in its obligation, in specific circumstances, to protect Louise O’Keeffe from sexual abuse by a teacher; and
- the State in 2015, introduced an ex gratia scheme of payments for victims of abuse by teachers and other school employees;
recognises that the requirement for evidence of a prior complaint of abuse (arising from the ECtHR judgement) is needed to access the ex gratia scheme in those cases where the State should reasonably have known of the danger posed by the abuser and taken steps to address it;
further notes the appointment of an independent assessor to hear the appeals under this scheme and that he is reviewing the legal implications of the ECtHR judgment, and awaits the outcome of the independent assessor’s considerations;
agrees that:
- the ex gratia scheme should be open to all those to whom the criteria apply, only some of whom may have been abused by the criminally convicted; and
- all the services of the State should be applied to support victims of crime; and
calls on all persons and institutions who have evidence of complaints in respect of sex abusers to freely provide that evidence so that the victims of abuse may secure redress, whether through the ex gratia scheme or through civil proceedings against those abusers and/or their employers, as relevant.
- (Minister for Education and Skills).

I must deal with a postponed division on amendment No. 1 in the name of the Minister for Education and Skills to the motion re pathway to redress for victims of convicted child sexual abusers. Yesterday, on the question, "That the amendment be made," a division was claimed. In accordance with Standing Order 70(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 44; Níl, 84; Staon, 0.

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Curran, John.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Joe McHugh and Maria Bailey; Níl, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart.
Amendment declared lost.
Motion put and declared carried.
Sitting suspended at 1.15 p.m. and resumed at 1.55 p.m.