Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has called on Minister Katherine Zappone to urgently review the handling of child abuse cases and to ensure that the relationship between Tusla and An Garda Síochána is radically improved.

She made the comments following the publication of the Garda Inspectorate report, which found that only 4% of child sex abuse cases reported to the Gardaí resulted in a conviction in court.

“The findings of this report are truly shocking and only further emphasises the degree to which the State is failing children.  The description of the relationship between the Gardaí and Tusla as “inefficient” is extremely worrying and needs to act as a wake-up call for Children’s Minister Zappone and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan”, said Deputy Rabbitte.

“The fact that there has been a six year delay in progressing a recommendation made by the Garda Inspectorate back in 2012 that centres be set up to provide medical and support services to victims of child sexual abuse is absolutely unacceptable.  It is deeply unfair to expect victims to have to travel to Dublin for these specialised services, when they have experienced such a traumatic event or series of events.

“Ministers Zappone and Flanagan cannot continue to ignore the serious disparities in these services.  I am calling on them to ensure that this situation is urgently reviewed an acted on.  These delays cannot be allowed to continue”.

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