Survivor Hits Out At Abuse Compensation Scheme


Louise O’Keeffe, who was abused by a teacher in a west Cork primary school in the 1970s, says the government is not doing the right thing in relation to sex abuse claims in Irish schools.

The State Claims Agency says 210 cases of alleged child sex abuse in schools are eligible for compensation under a Department of Education Scheme.

Each person is entitled to up to 84,000 euro, but survivors only qualify where it is shown that the school authorities failed to take action to a complaint of abuse.

Louise O’Keeffe says this puts the onus on the children who suffered the abuse.

“They’re almost saying that ‘it’s your own fault you didn’t speak up’ – but how does a 6, 7, 8-year-old child who’s waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney, who is waiting for the tooth fairy to put a coin in under a child’s pillow instead of a tooth that has fallen out – how can they expect that child to have the language or the know-how on what to say, or who to go to?” she said.

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