Varadkar issues State apology to people who were sexually abused in day schools


Michael Staines
Michael Staines

14.45 9 Jul 2019


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The Taoiseach has issued a State apology to survivors of sexual abuse in day schools in previous decades.

It comes after a court ruled that the State had misinterpreted a European Court of Human Rights judgement – denying survivors’ access to redress.

The State had used the ruling to insist that survivors were not entitled to compensation unless a previous complaint had been made against the abuser.

The case was taken by 13 people who had been refused State compensation; however, the ruling has implications for up to 350 survivors.

Speak in the Dáil this afternoon, Leo Varadkar said the State the redress scheme would be reopened allow survivors access to compensation.

“I believe that sexual abuse is the most heinous of all crimes, especially when the victims are children,” he said.

“It stays with them forever; trust is betrayed, lives forever destroyed and families broken.

“So on behalf of the State, I want to apologise to people who were sexually abused when they were children in our day schools before 1992 and for the State’s delay thereafter in acknowledging that it had a responsibility to protect them.”

He said the State would pay compensation to the 13 people who lodged the court appeal without delay.

"Without meaningful action apologies on their own don't count for very much and the best apology that we can make [...] is to say that further action will now be taken," he said.

"The State failed them at the time, failed them again a second time when it did not own up to its responsibility and we won't fail them a third time."


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1992 Apology Day Schools Sexual Abuse State Apology Varadkar

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