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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Louise O'Keeffe contacted by children who are being abused by their teachers

“Eight and 12-year-old children in schools today shouldn’t know who Louise O’Keeffe is”.

ABUSE SURVIVOR LOUISE O’Keeffe has revealed that children as young as eight have been contacting her about sexual abuse by their teachers as they feel they have nowhere else to turn.

Yesterday O’Keeffe met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny as well as the Minister for Education and the Minister for Children. Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time last night, she was critical of the delay in the government’s decision about other historical abuse cases similar to her story but said she had been assured that clarity would be given before Christmas.

The State is continuing to fail children who are being abused, according to O’Keeffe, as she spoke of children who have been in contact with her about issues similar to her own.

They see nowhere else to go so they make contact with me. Eight and 12-year-old children in schools today shouldn’t know who Louise O’Keeffe is and certainly shouldn’t know what she’s about.

She told the Taoiseach and the two ministers this yesterday, recommending that an independent child protection official for each province should be put in place so children feel like they have at least one person who “will listen to them and will hear them”.

On the issue of the other cases about historic abuse in schools, O’Keefe said she hoped that the “correct decision” would be made. When her own case was defeated in the Supreme Court, the Irish government had written to 135 people telling them that their cases had the same legal standing as her situation, encouraging them to drop their cases.

She questioned why their cases were all of a sudden being considered different from her case, now that she had won in the European Court of Human Rights.

“If they were able to put that in writing, then surely it still stands,” she said.

“They simply were another child, in another school, abused by a different teacher.”

Read: The State isn’t talking to abuse victims – Louise O’Keeffe>

Column: Louise O’Keeffe ruling shows Ireland’s school patronage system is unworkable>

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