Denis Naughten has called on the Government to direct the HSE to issue an apology to those in the community who brought concerns over the care of the children at the centre of the Roscommon Child Care Case to the attention of the authorities.
“The impression had been given at the time of the original court cases that the local community was aware of the issue of neglect but failed to take action. With the publication of the report into the handling of the case the HSE has finally acknowledged that this was not in fact the case,” stated Denis Naughten.
“This has been fuelled by ill-considered comments by those who wished to divert attention away from the real failings in this case”.
“The fact is that members of the local community did report their concerns to the appropriate authorities, but their complaints were not acted upon.
“These included reports from a concerned neighbour, serious concerns expressed by relatives and also by members of the public and the school, as well as a Garda. The report details at least 19 complaints to professionals over an 11 year period.”
The failure to listen – not only to the children but also to those around them such as neighbours and relatives – facilitated this appalling case of abuse.
This is first and foremost a tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers must be with the children who lost the opportunity to grow up in a loving home. And we must ensure that all of the resources of the State are made available to help these six children to come to terms, and cope, with their terrible experiences.
“But each of the individuals who did speak up must be issued with an apology by the HSE along with the community which has had to live under a cloud since this case first came to public attention.
“Each and every member of the community has been tarnished by the inaction of those who failed to act when confronted with serious concerns regarding these children” concluded Denis Naughten.