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Some Ryan Report recommendations yet to be implemented due to lack of resources

The report was released in May 2009.

A NUMBER OF recommendations made in the Ryan Report, an investigation into child abuse at religious-run schools, have yet to be implemented.

The report was published on 20 May 2009.

20/5/2009 Child Abuse Reports The late Christine Buckley, the former director of the Aislinn support and education group for survivors of industrial schools in Ireland. Source: RollingNews.ie

Speaking in the Dáil this month, Children’s Minister James Reilly said that 94 of the 99 recommendations have been implemented or are in the process of being put in place.

Reilly said a number of recommendations were not implemented due to “resource implications and the challenging economic environment”.

He noted the Ryan Report “detailed disturbing and significant levels of historic abuse of Irish children who were placed, by the state, in residential institutions run by religious orders”.

The minister said the government accepted all of the report’s recommendations and in response developed an implementation plan which set out a series of 99 actions that “addressed the recommendations to improve services to children in care, in detention and at risk”.

21/5/2009 Artane Boys Industrial Schools Artane Boys Industrial School, now called St. David's, which was run by the Christian Brothers and was named in the Ryan Report. Source: RollingNews.ie

The government approved the fourth and final monitoring report of the Ryan implementation group after it was presented to the Oireachtas in March of this year.

While overall progress in relation to the actions in the Ryan implementation plan was good, it was noted that five of the 99 actions were not yet complete, namely actions 1, 65, 75, 76 and 96.

Actions 65, 75 and 76 relate to the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) as follows:

  • Action 65: A longitudinal study over ten years was to be undertaken which would follow young people who leave care, in order to map their transition into adulthood;
  • Action 75: A professionally managed national archive was to be developed as a central repository for the records for all children in care;
  • Action 76: Records created in non-statutory agencies were to be secured in the national archive.

“These actions have not been implemented to date due to the resource implications and the challenging economic environment we faced,” Reilly said.

The minister noted that, in this regard, he has allocated €676 million in 2016 for Tusla.

Reilly said this represents an increase of €38 million over the 2015 provision and “may give Tusla the opportunity to progress a number of valuable projects, including the Ryan actions”.

The remaining actions, numbers one and 96, relate to the Department of Education and Skills and the Court Services, respectively.

27/7/2015 Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bills James Reilly Source: Mark Stedman

The first recommendation related to the construction of a memorial to the survivors of institutional abuse. The final monitoring report of the Ryan implementation group notes that the chosen design was selected in 2012 and the OPW received planning permission, subject to conditions, from Dublin City Council for the proposed memorial which was to be integrated with the Garden of Remembrance.

However, an Bord Pleanála upheld a third party appeal and refused planning permission as it felt it would have an adverse impact on the setting, character and function of the Garden of Remembrance.

The Department of Education is consulting with the OPW and Dublin City Council to identify a suitable central Dublin location and on how best to progress the project.

Under action 96, the Courts Service was to conduct best practice research into other jurisdictions regarding the management of children and family services in the court. This did not happen due to “resource constraints”.

Reilly said he has been asked to be kept informed of developments in relation to all unimplemented recommendations. He plans to update the government on the issue in early 2016.

Read: ‘Quite startling’: €31m of church property for redress fund yet to be transferred

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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