U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Ireland (From Child Abuse: A Global View, P 67-84, 2001, Beth M. Schwartz-Kenney, Michelle McCauley, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-186919)

NCJ Number
Harry Ferguson
Date Published
18 pages
This chapter provides an overview of the nature and prevalence of child abuse in Ireland as well as the response to it.
A demographic profile of Ireland, including the infant mortality rate, is followed by a brief case study of how Irish institutions that should protect children failed to intervene to prevent the continuing sexual and physical abuse of a girl by her father from childhood through adolescence. A historical overview of child abuse and the development of the child protection system in Ireland is followed by a description of investigative procedures and a discussion of trends in child abuse and child protection practices in Ireland. Remaining sections of the chapter address post-investigative services for affected children and families, treatment procedures, and legal processes for child protection. Overall, responses to child abuse and child-care policy in Ireland have developed in an ad hoc and reactive fashion, although there are signs that the 1991 Child Care Act is achieving more accountability and planning, as well as a greater commitment to advancing children's rights. The child protection system has improved significantly in terms of service provision, as it has become more uniform in its response to child abuse. The social problem of child abuse in Ireland is at the forefront of national social consciousness, in that the problem and responses to it are now routine subjects for media discussion and professional and lay debate. Recent disclosures of clerical child sexual abuse have shattered the trust of lay people in the Catholic Church. More and more citizens, particularly women and children themselves, are reporting child abuse and domestic violence, using social work and other forms of therapy to find protection and receive support in life planning and healing. Central to these trends has been the role played by adult survivors of childhood abuse, as they have publicly challenged the State and church institutions that failed to protect them. 70 references