August Comments 2017

ANON Aug 24th, 2017 @ 07:44 PM

Mayor of Pembroke charged with historical rape of child…

David Boswell, 56, faces six counts of indecent assault and one charge of rape between 1991 and 1994 with the charges relating to two alleged victims who were under the age of 13 at the time.

Mr Boswell was elected as a Conservative county councillor for Pembroke St Mary North in May.

Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed he had been summonsed to appear in court on 13 September.

Mr Boswell served in the Army for more than 12 years and is a marshal for the Royal British Legion.

A Pembrokeshire council spokesman said the council "continues to keep under review all necessary safeguarding measures pending the outcome of any prosecution".

He added it was a police and Crown Prosecution Service matter and would make no further comment at this time.

Pembrokeshire council's Conservative group said Mr Boswell has been suspended from membership of the party.

ANON Aug 18th, 2017 @ 12:20 PM

The Bethany Home Children...

Annual Remembrance for the Little Ones from The Bethany Home.
2.30pm on 7th September 2017
(We will meet at the McGowan pub.)

We are trying to get as many people as possible, survivors & friends, to come to Mount Jerome Cemetery to remember the little ones that lost their lives in The Bethany Home. This sad time will allow us to reflect on all of the Irish Children that suffered abuse while in the care of The Churches and The State.

Everyone is welcome. Will you please let me let me know ASAP if you can come and make it a big day of Remembrance for all the little ones of Ireland.

The Religious & Social Affairs Correspondent for RTE, Joe Little, is hoping to be there, with his camera, as he has done over the years.

It is important that we do this while we can because, as time goes by, there are fewer of us able to attend.

Please contact Carol on Mobile No. 0044 7496 973086.

Derek and Carol will be in Ireland from 2nd September 2017 for two weeks’.

Derek & Carol.

ANON Aug 18th, 2017 @ 12:16 PM

1/2...Hiqa questions reliability of State data in relation to Garda vetting after foster care services inspection…

The reliability of State data in relation to Garda vetting and reviews of foster carers has been called into question by the health watchdog following an inspection of foster care services in the mid-west.

Data provided by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, to the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) indicated all foster carers in Clare, Limerick, and North Tipperary had been Garda vetted.

However, inspectors found no evidence on file of Garda vetting of 30 foster carers and 116 adults living in foster carers’ homes.

Some members of the foster care committee, whose job it is to approve foster care placements, had no updated Garda vetting.

There were also concerns over data relating to reviews of foster carers. The National Standards for Foster Care state that the first review should take place one year after the first placement and subsequent reviews at three-year intervals.

Data provided by Tusla indicated 96 foster carers had a review in the previous 12 months.

An examination of a sample of files found no evidence of a review for three of those identified as having had a review.

In its report, published yesterday, Hiqa said it was “subsequently confirmed by staff that the reviews had not been held”.

Therefore the data from Tusla was “not reliable”.

In one case, a review was carried out without a home visit to assess the foster family’s living circumstances.

ANON Aug 18th, 2017 @ 12:14 PM

2/2Jim Gibson, Tusla’s chief operations officer, admitted the Hiqa report “had thrown up some issues for us”.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s News at One, Mr Gibson said the absence of Garda vetting on files where Tusla had claimed vetting had taken place was partly explained by members of the foster care family who had turned 16 and now required Garda vetting, but previously had not.

Hiqa also raised concerns around handling of allegations, saying claims of abuse “were not managed and investigated in a timely way”.

While there were 35 child protection and welfare concerns or allegations made against foster carers in the past 12 months, there were only three foster care reviews held following notification of allegations to the foster care committee.

Hiqa found long delays in the completion of assessments of relative foster carers, as well as failure to allocate a social worker to 30 general (non-relative) foster carers.

The standards require that foster carers be supervised by a social worker, known as the link worker. The foster child is also allocated a social worker.

Hiqa found there were seven foster care households without a link worker where the children were also without an allocated social worker. This “posed a significant risk”.

Mr Gibson said Tusla needed to “up its game” in terms of checks and balances. However, defending the agency’s performance, he said the report had highlighted “excellent practice in areas such as training and the quality of assessments of foster carers”.

In relation to areas in need of improvements, such as supervision and timely reviews, he said they were being “actively addressed through a comprehensive action plan which has been submitted to Hiqa”.

ANON Aug 18th, 2017 @ 12:12 PM

Paedophile jailed after Newport train station sting…

A paedophile who travelled from London to south Wales has been jailed for three years.

Adrian Simut, 35, travelled to Newport train station, where he thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl called Sam.

But he was confronted by so-called "paedophile hunters" and later arrested, Newport Crown Court was told.

He admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and meeting a child after online grooming.

He also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

The court heard Simut started messaging the teenager in an online chat room in June, saying she looked "cute and beautiful".

But she was in fact an adult belonging to a group called Petronus.
meet a child

The operation was captured on film by the BBC Wales Week In Week Out programme, which investigated the role of paedophile hunters in Wales.

The court heard that Romanian national Simut arranged to meet "Sam" in Newport and suggested she bring a friend for sexual activity.

Sentencing him, Judge Michael Fitton QC said: "You were the subject of an exchange conducted by those who are looking to attract paedophiles."

He was also made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Paedophile hunting groups have drawn criticism from both the Home Office and police, who have said it was inappropriate for the public to conduct undercover work.

They have urged anyone with information to instead pass it to them instead

ANON Aug 14th, 2017 @ 11:19 AM

2/2...In the report, Action for Children said it sent Freedom of Information requests to 152 local authorities in England.

It asked how many children had their case closed after assessment and whether they were referred to early help services, such as children's centres or domestic violence programmes, after their case was shut.

Richard Watts, chairman of the Local Government Association's children and young people board, and said the report "rightly recognises the increased pressures" facing local authorities.

"As a result of funding cuts and huge increases in demand for services, the reality is that services for the care and protection of vulnerable children are now, in many areas, being pushed to breaking point," he said.

"The number of referrals to local authority children's services has increased by almost 9% over the past decade, while the number of children placed on a child protection plan as a result of those referrals has increased by more than 90%."

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "Councils will receive more than "200 billion for local services up to 2020 and spent nearly £8 billion last year on children's social care but we want to help them do even more.

"Our £200 million Innovation Programme is helping councils develop new and better ways of delivering these services - this includes projects targeting children who have been referred and assessed multiple times without receiving support."

ANON Aug 14th, 2017 @ 11:17 AM

2/2...In the report, Action for Children said it sent Freedom of Information requests to 152 local authorities in England.

It asked how many children had their case closed after assessment and whether they were referred to early help services, such as children's centres or domestic violence programmes, after their case was shut.

Richard Watts, chairman of the Local Government Association's children and young people board, and said the report "rightly recognises the increased pressures" facing local authorities.

"As a result of funding cuts and huge increases in demand for services, the reality is that services for the care and protection of vulnerable children are now, in many areas, being pushed to breaking point," he said.

"The number of referrals to local authority children's services has increased by almost 9% over the past decade, while the number of children placed on a child protection plan as a result of those referrals has increased by more than 90%."

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "Councils will receive more than "200 billion for local services up to 2020 and spent nearly £8 billion last year on children's social care but we want to help them do even more.

"Our £200 million Innovation Programme is helping councils develop new and better ways of delivering these services - this includes projects targeting children who have been referred and assessed multiple times without receiving support."

ANON Aug 14th, 2017 @ 11:13 AM

Report would compel clergy to report abuse allegations heard in confession…

An Australian report into child sex abuse has recommended new laws to compel clergy to report sex abuse allegations they hear in religious confession.

Current laws in most Australian states uphold the confidentiality of the religious confession.

A government-sanctioned inquiry into child sex abuse said it heard that some perpetrators who confessed to sexually abusing children went on to reoffend and seek forgiveness again.

"Clergy should not be able to refuse to report because the information was received during confession," the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said in a statement attached to the report.

"Persons in institutions should report if they know, suspect or should have suspected a child is being or has been sexually abused."

The government did not immediately respond to the report.

A similar rule, overriding the confessional privilege in Church law that prevents clerics from sharing information, was introduced here in 2012.

The Royal Commission had previously heard that 7% of Catholic priests working in Australia between 1950 and 2010 were accused of child sex crimes and that close to 1,100 people filed child sexual assault claims against the Anglican Church over a 35-year period.

A royal commission is Australia's most powerful kind of government-appointed inquiry and can compel witnesses to give evidence and recommend prosecutions, but it does not make laws.

"Priests are able to say that they didn't have to divulge anything in confessional because of this privilege this would change that," barrister Miiko Kumar, a legal academic at the University of Sydney, said of the commission's recommendation.

"It would make it absolutely clear that this should be an offence and a priest can't claim the privilege."

A spokeswoman for Australia's Catholic Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Michael Quinlan, a legal expert at Catholic University Notre Dame in Sydney, previously told the inquiry that confession is a sacrament "at the heart of the Catholic religious faith" and to change its legal status would undermine religious freedoms

ANON Aug 13th, 2017 @ 09:58 PM

1/2...HSE mulls Grace staff probes…

A HSE-appointed independent barrister specialising in employment law has identified “a significant number of potential human resources (HR) investigations” into people who may be responsible for the Grace foster abuse scandal.

HSE director general Tony O’Brien has confirmed the development, saying that while a number of those involved have died or left the organisation, others remain in high-level positions.

In a four-page letter sent to the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last month, and seen by the Irish Examiner, Mr O’Brien said in light of the Grace scandal, the HSE has begun a detailed internal disciplinary investigation into what happened.

Mr O’Brien stressed that the investigation has not yet concluded and that officials are keen to only provide limited information so as not to negatively impact on the ongoing work of the State commission of investigation into the same scandal.

However, in the letter, he confirmed the HSE has appointed an independent barrister with expertise in employment law to review what happened, and that this individual has identified a “significant” number of HR investigations which should now take place.

“Earlier this year the HSE commenced an HR process whose objective is to achieve fair and appropriate outcomes in respect of any persons who have been identified in any of the relevant reports into the Grace case and related matters,” said Mr O’Brien.

“The independent barrister has identified a significant number of potential individual HR investigations, albeit that a significant number of the persons identified in the relevant reports are no longer subject to HSE HR procedures due to their death, retirement or transfer to different State agencies.

ANON Aug 13th, 2017 @ 09:56 PM

2/2“...The second phase was for the HSE to determine which of the individuals remains an employee of the HSE. This phase is now complete. The HSE is taking further advice from the same independent barrister in respect of the timing of any potential HR investigations.

“The commission of investigation may disclose more relevant information than an internal HR process could disclose.

The HSE is therefore taking further independent advice in respect of the timing of when it can make further progress with the HR processes.”

The development is likely to place fresh pressure on the HSE to reveal the identities of the individuals involved, and to explain what if any disciplinary action has taken place to date.

At a previous meeting with the PAC in June, Mr O’Brien confirmed that an undisclosed number of HSE officials directly involved in the case are facing disciplinary action over their failure to prevent the scandal and allegedly trying to cover up it.

However, despite criticism from a number of TDs including Fianna Fáil’s Bobby Aylward, Labour’s Alan Kelly, the Social Democrats Catherine Murphy, and Independent Catherine Connolly Mr O’Brien declined to identify those involved.

As revealed by the Irish Examiner in March, a number of people directly involved in the Grace foster abuse scandal still work in the HSE, while others have transferred to State child and family agency Tusla and hold senior roles.

They include one individual identified by the code H3 in Grace-related reports, who retired from the HSE in 2012 before joining the State’s child protection agency Tusla in a senior capacity in December 2013; a second person [H7], who retired from the

HSE on October 17, 2010; a third [H12], who also retired on February 29, 2012; another individual [H6], who joined Tusla on December 9, 2013; and a fifth [H4], who resigned from the HSE for as yet unknown reasons on April 29, 2009.

ANON Aug 11th, 2017 @ 02:10 PM

Govt criticised by UN over lack of Magdalene investigation …

The report criticises the UN for failing to ensure victims have an enforceable right to compensation

A United Nations committee has criticised the Government for failing to implement its recommendations to investigate allegations of ill treatment of women in Magdalene Laundries.

It has also called for urgent measures to improve the staffing of the Republic's prisons and to convene an independent review of the entire prison health care system.

The report underlines many achievements in the six years since the UN Committee Against Torture's previous review.

These include the creation of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the provision of community service as an alternative to imprisonment.

It also notes the 2013 McAleese Report on the State's involvement with the Magdalene Laundries and the ex gratia scheme to help women who worked in the Laundries.

However it criticises successive governments for failing to investigate allegations of ill treatment of the Magdalene women, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that victims have an enforceable right to compensation.

It has also called for urgent measures to improve the staffing of the Republic's prisons and to convene an independent review of the entire prison health care system.

It notes the continuing rise in the number of women prisoners and overcrowding at the Dochás Centre in Mountjoy prison, as well as in both the male and female sections of Limerick prison.

It says over 1,500 prisoners must use toilet facilities in the presence of another inmate in cells where they also eat their meals.

It also calls for an independent review of systematic deficiencies in the prison health care services, including serious understaffing.

The committee says solitary confinement must never be applied to a person with a psycho-social disability

ANON Aug 9th, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

PLEASE COPY AND PASTE....http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/weve-been-left-to-rot-bethany-home-survivor-claims-he-is-ignored-by-the-state-because-hes-a-protestant-35997788.html

ANON Aug 6th, 2017 @ 06:18 PM

1/2...Paedophile Priest With HIV who Raped 30 Children Forgiven by Church…

A Catholic Priest has been acquitted by the church after he admitted to raping almost 30 young girls aged between 5 and 10-years-old.

The priest, Jose Garcia Ataulfo, was cleared of any wrong-doing and won’t face any criminal charges, despite the fact that he knew he was infected with HIV when he sexually abused all the children he admitted to raping.

The mother of one of the priest’s victims wrote a letter to The Pope asking to meet with him in Rome to discuss the case, but was shunned by the Vatican who declared that “the matter is closed”.

Ataulfo admitted to sexually assaulting well over two dozen children, many of whom were indigenous young girls from Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico known for its large indigenous population.

Due to the significant influence that the Catholic Church wields in Mexico, the priest won’t face any criminal charges, particularly for his crimes in areas populated by indigenous ethnic groups.

The report which first appeared on the Spanish-language news site Urgente24.com, says the priest, was absolved of any wrongdoing by the Archdiocese of Mexico.

According to Urgente24.com, only two out of the thirty rape victims have come forward to denounce the acquittal.

The website Anonymous Mexico reported that the mother of one of the victims asked to meet with Pope Francis in Rome, but she was rebuffed by the Vatican which wrote a letter stating that it considered the matter closed.

ANON Aug 6th, 2017 @ 06:15 PM

2/2...Earlier this year, Pope Francis announced that the church would be reducing penalties for pedophile priests by relocating them to a different church and offering them support rather than punishing them.

The Pope said that the controversial measures were designed to create a “more merciful church”.

According to The Daily Mail, sexual abuse of minors by priests and the subsequent cover-ups by bishops and other Church officials have been widespread in many countries, including the United States.

The issue was thrust into the national spotlight in 2002 when the Boston Globe revealed the extent to which the local archdiocese shielded abusive priests from being exposed to the public even though it knew they posed a danger to young parishioners.

The Globe exposé, which detailed abuse cases that numbered in the thousands over a span of several decades, inspired other victims to come forward, leading to an avalanche of lawsuits and criminal prosecutions.

Not only did the floodgates open in the US, but the Catholic Church was also forced to confront cases in other countries, including Mexico.

In 2004, the Vatican re-opened a prior investigation against Marcial Maciel, who was accused of sexually abusing minors as well as fathering six children by three different women.

Though the allegations spanned decades and the extent of his crimes was known to church officials, it was only in 2006 that the Vatican forced Maciel, one of its most powerful clergymen, to retire from active ministry.

ANON Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 03:16 PM

1/4...The ever-evolving fight against child abusers…

Gardaí have learned from the management of sex offenders that ‘they are very controlling and find different ways to offend’, writes Cormac O’Keeffe.

Gardaí have warned that child sex dolls will come to Ireland, if they are not already here.

It follows a landmark case in England, in which a 72-year-old primary school governor was convicted earlier this week of importing the dolls, which are child-like in appearance, weight, and anatomy.

“There’s no doubt that they will come to Ireland at some stage, if they are not already here and we need to be prepared for that,” said Chief Superintendent Michael Daly of the Garda National Protective Services Bureau.

He said they were “fairly horrible items” and that his officers were “very concerned” about them.

Chief Supt Daly said they had “not come across them yet” but said there was no reason why the same would not happen here as in the UK.

The British trial was seen as a test case, as a court was asked to make a ruling as to whether or not a child sex doll was indecent or obscene, which it did.

Lawyers for the defendant, David Turner, argued that the doll was not covered by the law banning the importation of obscene items.

The British National Crime Agency said it was the “first ruling of its kind”.

The NCA took the prosecution under Customs laws which make it an offence to import obscene or indecent items.

British Border Force Police, which seized the item, said it had been labelled as a mannequin.

ANON Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 03:13 PM

2/4...When officers raided the home of Turner last December, they discovered two child sex dolls, which he kept in his study and seized a computer, tablets, external hard drives, and pen drives.

The charge against him related to a 3ft10in doll that was already in his possession, and which he had bought clothes for.

Analysis of his computers showed that he had viewed websites selling items advertised as “flat chested love doll” and “mini silicone sex doll 65cm little breasts”.
Turner admitted possessing more than 34,000 images of child abuse.

After he was arrested, he resigned as a school governor of St Ethelbert’s Church Primary School in Ramsgate, and from St Ethelbert’s and Gertrude Church, where he was a warden.

British police said they have seized 123 of the child sex dolls in little over a year.
The NCA said the dolls weigh around 25kg (around the weight of a seven- or eight-year-old child) and cost thousands of euro.

Manufactured typically in China, they are sold online, including on Amazon and eBay, and sent via courier, fast parcel, and other delivery services, the NCA said.

Chief Supt Daly said his officers have been examining the law in Ireland in this area, to see if it would cover these dolls.

“Our legislation appears to be wide enough,” he told the Irish Examiner. “It does seem to fall within child pornography laws.”

He said his staff in the various relevant sections, including the Online Child Exploitation Unit and the Sexual Crime Management Unit, had looked at the law and believed the dolls fell inside it.

Chief Sup Daly said, under the law, child pornography is described as “any visual representation that shows for a sexual purpose the genital or anal region of a child”.
Section 2.1 of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998, amended by the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act 2017, states that child pornography includes “any visual representation who dominant characteristic is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of the genital or anal region of a child”.

ANON Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 03:10 PM

3/4...Chief Supt Daly said that while visual representation has tended to refer to pictures, cartoons, and drawings, the legislation was “reasonably broad” and seemed to include “3D visual representations” like a plastic child sex doll.

“I’ve received full images [of the dolls] from UK police and the dolls to show those regions [genital and anal],” he said. “They are fairly horrible items.”

He said that while they believed the dolls fall within the child pornography laws, he said “this has not been tested in the courts yet”.

Professor of Law at the University of Limerick, Shane Kilcommins, said he believed the matter “would be contested in court” by defendants.

He said that while the definition of child pornography in the Child Trafficking and
Pornography Act 1998 was “broad” and that it could be argued that it incorporated “3D visual representations” such as a plastic child sex doll, a defendant could also argue that it does not depict a child or that the doll does not equate with a child for the purposes of the legislation.

“Obviously the court will be the final arbiter on different legal arguments and interpretations,” said Prof Kilcommins. “If the conduct is not covered by the legislation, the obviously an amendment will be necessary to ensure that it is criminalised.”

ANON Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 03:04 PM

4/4...Chief Supt Daly said they would be referring the matter and the laws to the Garda Siochána’s Legal Section for further clarity and advice.

He said they have learned from the management of sex offenders that “they are very controlling and find different ways to offend”.

He said: “Anyone who is importing one of these child sex dolls obviously has a sexual interest in children.”

He said they would be liaising with the PSNI, British police, and Revenue Customs here in relation to the matter.

In a statement, Revenue said prohibited items, including obscene material, may be seized by customs.

“Depending on the facts and circumstances, possession of dolls of the type referred to may constitute an offence under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998,” it said.

It said that, in such situations, a Customs officer may detain such goods and hand them to the Gardaí as evidence in criminal proceedings.

Mary Flaherty of Cari, which provides therapy and support for children affected by child abuse, said they shared the concerns of Gardaí.

“These dolls clearly do indicate a criminal interest in children,” she said.

Ms Flaherty said: “It will be important to ensure that we in Ireland are able to act to deal with the issues legislatively and that the gardaí are assured that the Irish legal framework is sufficiently robust to deal with this.”

She also pointed out that other preventative measures were needed to develop diversion and treatment programmes to prevent abuse along the lines of the Stop It

Now Campaign in the UK, which she said was recommended by the Ferns Report and the Ferns 5 Working Group.

She added: “When the level of inappropriate and criminal interest in children evidenced by acquiring of these life-size dolls goes unchecked and results in actual abuse of children, we in Cari see the devastating long-term effects as we support children and families through disclosure, forensic examination through therapy and the Irish courts.”