Athlone report raises serious questions about operation of child protection guidelines
The report of the Independent Inquiry into how a lecturer in child care policy at the Athlone Institute of Technology was able to remain in his post two years after his conviction for serious sexual offences in Holland raises serious questions about the operation of child protection measures in this country.
Parents will find it hard to understand how no action was taken despite the then Midlands Health Board and the Gardai being notified of it within days of its occurrence in Holland in June 2004.
This was a serious incident involving violence and indecent acts.
Surely we should have accepted by now that when it comes to the welfare and protection of children no avoidable risks should be taken.
In this case it appears that proper procedures were followed and that the appropriate authorities were notified, but no action was taken but for reasons that were not entirely clear.
We must now learn the lessons of this affair and ensure that not only are appropriate procedures in place, but that they are acted upon when incidents like this occur.
The recommendations made by Mr. Devine in his report should now be placed for consideration before the Oireachtas Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children.
More:: Read the full McElwee Report by clicking here