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Helpline launched amid investigation into Co Cork school abuse claims

The HSE says it is working with a number of support and counselling organisations to provide assistance to anyone who seeks it through new helpline.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

THE HSE HAS launched a Freephone helpdesk for anyone with information or concerns regarding a secondary school in Co Cork run by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

Both the HSE and the gardaí have launched investigations into concerns raised about the Sacred Heart College in Carraig na bhFear.

The confidential helpdesk can be reached on 1800 742 800 and will operate from 6pm to 10pm today, and from 10am to 10pm daily from tomorrow. Anyone who wants to speak to a counsellor, either by phone or in person, or who wants to get advocacy support can arrange this through the helpdesk.

The HSE says it is working with the National Counselling Service, Harbour Counselling Service, Cork Sexual Violence Centre, Connect (which provides telephone counselling for adults who experience abuse as children), One in Four and The Samaritans.

It also says that the 24-hour Helpline for Victims of Rape and Sexual Abuse can be reached on Freephone 1800 778 888.

Gardaí said this evening that anyone who has any information regarding allegations and concerns about the welfare of children who attended the Carraig na bhFear school can contact them on 01 666 3395/ 01 666 3430 between 9am and 9pm. The Garda Confidential Line is 1800 666 111.

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Yesterday, the Minister for Children and the Minister for Justice welcomed the investigations and said they had been assured that “none of those against whom allegations have been made are currently engaged in any work activities which bring them into contact with children”.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald said today that another helpline to provide support and counselling for abuse survivors has been set up at the request of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. It can be reached on 1800 303 528 between 11am and 1am, from 2 – 8 September.

Read: HSE and gardaí investigate abuse allegations at Co Cork boarding school >

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