Alliance has called for further child protection legislation to include the Church after revelations of sexual abuse in a Wexford diocese, and said that the whole issue raises challenges to be dealt with on an all-island basis.
Alliance Party President Philip McGarry stated: “It is quite clear that we need an immediate review of child protection legislation on both sides of the border so that parents can have confidence that their children are safe.
“This raises very fundamental issues. It is topical to talk about Northern Ireland’s past, but the Irish State has a lot to be ashamed of too. This is reflected by the collusion between Church and State that has allowed a cover up on this issue to happen for decades.
“The highest standards of child protection, and of basic human rights and social justice, must apply right across the island. This is a challenge for the Republic just as much as it is for the North, and there is no reason we can’t work on an island-wide basis to meet it.”
The Party’s Children’s spokesperson Marjorie Hawkins stated: “People on both sides of the border are absolutely appalled by these revelations. It is now clear that there has been a cover-up on this within the Church across Ireland, and that means this is very much an all-island issue.
“It is clear that for child protection to be fully effective, there must be the same checks for everyone working with children, including those within the Church. The Minister must guarantee the protection of our children – parents have every right to expect that in all contexts.”
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The NIO Minister with responsibility for children is Lord Rooker.