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Snippet Contents:

This provision should apply to everybody, whether he or she is in a position of authority or an ordinary citizen on the street. Knowing what we now know about what happened in the Church, swimming clubs, schools, youth clubs and various organisations across the State, we have a responsibility to those who have been abused to ensure we will take all necessary precautions in order that no minor will have to suffer at the hands of an evil predator or suffer neglect or abuse. Someone should never be able to say he or she had concerns, but that Paddy or Johnny was an upstanding member of the community and that that alleviated him or her of responsibility. There must be a requirement that if someone has concerns, they be reported to the appropriate authorities to ensure they will be checked to see whether they are justified. Learning from past experience and past mistakes, it is not something that should or can be left to chance. There should be tough sanctions and consequences for those who knowingly and willfully flaunt regulations and ignore their moral duty to ensure a child is protected. Anyone who knowingly and willfully ignores the welfare and protection of a child is just as bad as the person who abuses or neglects a child. Such a person should also face consequences and sanctions.
I genuinely appeal to the Minister to reconsider accepting the amendment because it is in the best interests of all children that it be accepted. It would improve the Bill which I acknowledge is good, but there are small areas where we can improve it. We are working together on a cross-party basis in the interests of promoting child welfare and protection and this is an area in which improvements could be made to the Bill. I, therefore, ask the Minister to accept the amendment.