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The State has paid all damages and costs awarded to Louise O'Keeffe

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the State was responsible for the abuse the woman experience while in school.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn arriving at cabinet this morning.
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn arriving at cabinet this morning.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE STATE HAS paid all damages awarded to Louise O’Keeffe following a European court ruling earlier this year that placed the blame for abuse she suffered in school on the Department of Education.

The landmark ruling at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) followed several appeals by O’Keeffe, who argued that the State failed to structure the primary education system in a way that would protect her and others.


Briefing his cabinet colleagues this morning, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said that all costs and damages had been paid, and a review into other cases of abuse was on-going.

The State Claims Agency informed the Department last month that there are 44 day school abuse claims which were in line to be reviewed after the court ruling.

He said he will inform government as soon as the review is complete.

“Child protection measures”

The ruling has also prompted a review of “planned and current child protect measures”, which will be undertaken by a sub-committee of the Children First Inter-Departmental Implementation Group.

The ECtHR has ordered that the State pay O’Keeffe €30,000 in damages and that they pay €85,000 for costs and expenses.

The Cork woman was indecently assaulted by Leo Hickey at Dunderrow National School in Kinsale for a number of months in 1973 when she was just nine years old.

Read: Sexual abuse ruling will have “significant implications” for the State >

‘Please act on it’: Louise O’Keeffe’s appeal to Taoiseach after apology >

More: 44 school abuse claims to be reviewed following O’Keeffe judgement >

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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