Responding to Child Sexual Abuse

Garda Inspectorate


Nothing is more important than protecting our children, yet nations throughout the world continue to struggle to do so effectively. Ireland is no different.

Inquiries in Ireland have resulted in shocking reports of child abuse – in particular, heinous
crimes of child sexual abuse. These reports have primarily focused on the response to incidents of abuse by State agencies and the Catholic Church in Ireland during the past several decades.

One such report, the Commission of Investigation – Report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin July 2009, issued on 26 November, 2009, clearly indicates failings on the part of the Garda Síochána in certain historical child sexual abuse cases, including undue deference to the Catholic Church and its hierarchy.

As the result, the Minister for Justice and Law Reform, Mr Dermot Ahern, directed the Garda
Síochána Inspectorate to conduct a comprehensive review of police practices for handling these very sensitive and important cases to ensure that such impropriety on the part of the police could not occur today or in the future

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