Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Written Answers. - Inquiry into Sex Abuse Case.

Tuesday, 8 October 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 469 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 182 Next Page Last Page

 180. Ms O'Donnell Information on Liz O'Donnell Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  asked the Minister for Justice Information on Nora Owen Zoom on Nora Owen  whether proceedings have issued against the State arising out of allegations that the probation service had failed to report complaints of sexual abuse of a child in a State institution; if so, when these proceedings were issued; whether they are being defended by the State; the action, if any, which has been taken in relation to this matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17652/96]

 182. Ms O'Donnell Information on Liz O'Donnell Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  asked the Minister for Justice Information on Nora Owen Zoom on Nora Owen  the terms of reference of an informal inquiry which she has established into allegations against the probation service which was referred to in an Adjournment debate on 26 September 1996; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17654/96]

Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): Information on Nora Owen Zoom on Nora Owen I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 and 182 together.

I appointed a judge, retired, to carry out an independent, informal examination into allegations which, according to media reports, had been made by a sex abuse victim in the course of a criminal trial. These allegations were to the effect that the victim had made complaints of sexual abuse to a probation officer and the officer had failed to report the matter.

As indicated in the reply to the Adjourment debate on 26 September, to which Deputy O'Donnell refers, I have asked the judge to examine allegations made by the victim about a probation officer's alleged failure to report the sexual allegations. I have also asked the judge to examine a media statement indicating that the accused was well [1562] known to the Probation and Welfare Service, to ascertain if this was factual and the basis on which referrals, if any, were made. Finally, I have asked the judge to examine the relationship and contacts the accused had with the Probation Hostel, Lady Lane, Waterford, and to report and make recommendations on the matters covered by his examination.

I believe that the correct course, once these allegations were made, was to have the matter independently examined without delay and I have no doubt that the Deputy will agree with me on this.

The judge's examination is ongoing and I will take any necessary action following consideration of the report.

I have been informed by the Chief State Solicitor's Office that civil proceedings are being issued against the State and others in relation to this case.


Last Updated: 13/05/2015 09:17:39 First Page Previous Page Page of 182 Next Page Last Page