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Dublin: 17 °C Monday 22 April, 2019

Second Irish person taking case to Europe over child abuse in Irish schools

John Allen says, ‘The insanity lies with a dysfunctional country, not a damaged child’.

A SECOND IRISH person is planning to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the issue of child abuse in Irish schools.

In 2014 the ECHR found the Irish State was liable for abuse suffered by Cork woman Louise O’Keeffe during her schooldays.

Prior to that judgement, both the High Court and Supreme Court had ruled that the State was not liable for the abuse O’Keeffe suffered.

Following the ECHR ruling, the State said it would make settlement offers of up to €84,000 to people with cases similar to O’Keefe’s but only seven people have received settlements in the four years since.

The government argues that the ECHR decision applies only to people who were abused after an initial complaint was made against a teacher and no action was taken.

This has been widely criticised with survivors saying it essentially means that the second child abused by a teacher is entitled to a settlement but the first is not. O’Keeffe herself described it as “discrimination of the highest order”.

‘I am not a doormat’ has spoken to a number of men who were sexually abused by their teachers as children but have never received redress – John Allen who attended North Monastery CBS in Cork and Christopher Rainbow and Thomas Hogan who went to Creagh Lane National School in Limerick.

Today John Allen is sending an application to the Europe Court of Human Rights. He told, “Ireland blatantly refuses to implement Louise O Keeffe’s ruling.

“The ECHR said the State had liability but it refuses to implement it. That’s why I have to go again. Ireland is the only country that a second person has had to go to Europe on a similar issue as Louise O’Keeffe.

The insanity lies with a dysfunctional country and not a damaged child.

Earlier this month the Dáil passed a motion seeking redress for victims of child sex abuse in state-schools whose perpetrators have been convicted.

Allen added, “It is insane that a Dáil motion was passed and yet ignored. A defiance of democracy.

I carry the flag for all children who were treated so badly in school. Some of our political masters (those who voted against the Motion) need to be brought to their senses.

“I am not a doormat, I have constitutional and human rights which have been ignored.”

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