Government to set up Commission of Investigation into response to complaints against Bill Kenneally


May 29, 2018

By Jack Quann

The commission will take up to one year to report

The Cabinet has approved a proposal to establish a Commission of Investigation into the response to complaints or allegations of child sexual abuse made against Bill Kenneally.

The Government also approved the appointment of retired Circuit Court Judge Barry Hickson as sole member of the commission.

The Houses of the Oireachtas will now be required to pass motions so that the commission can be formally established.

This is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

Kenneally, a former basketball coach, is currently serving a 14 year prison sentence in relation to 10 sample counts of indecent assault against minors – which took place in the 1980s.

A number of survivors of that abuse have claimed that the State and other bodies failed to intervene sufficiently in order to prevent him continuing to abuse children.

They allege there was collusion between An Garda Síochána, the Catholic Church authorities and elements within the political system, which prevented Kenneally from being arrested and charged at a much earlier stage.

As a result of these concerns, the Government agreed in principle on May 30th 2017 to establish a Commission of Investigation.

The commission will be called the ‘Commission of Investigation (Response to complaints or allegations of child sexual abuse made against Bill Kenneally, and related matters’.

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