12 May 2013
Deprived children hit by garda vetting delay
"St Vincent de Paul warns backlog is harming recruitment of volunteers.
ONE of Ireland's biggest charities has warned the Justice Minister that services to disadvantaged children could be curtailed because of the huge delays in the garda vetting system.
St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has complained that vetting of volunteers for services such as children's summer camps, home work clubs and counselling can take as long as four months.
SVP's national director Kieran Murphy said the 16-week backlog means that services might have to be curtailed or suspended as a result.
In a letter to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, Mr Murphy said it was "critically important that the process times be substantially reduced, otherwise the operational difficulties for organisations will be significant and the credibility of the whole garda vetting process may be undermined.
"If process times cannot be reduced to within three to four weeks, some of our services may have to be curtailed or suspended with significant impact for the people involved and adverse publicity.""
Sat, May 11, 2013, 17:03
Justice system ‘unsuited’ to dealing with child abuse, conference told
"Consultant psychologist says garda interview techniques not suited to younger children
Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness chaired the Voice of the Child conference in Dublin today, which examined aspects of the law in relation to children and how the legal system deals with child sexual abuse cases.
The adversarial nature of the criminal justice process is unsuited to dealing with sensitive issues like child sexual abuse, a conference on childcare was told today.
In a paper presented at the Voice of the Child conference in Dublin, consultant psychologist Dr Rosaleen McElvaney said responses to children who report sexual abuse need to take account of sexual abuse as a crime but they also need to take a broader perspective than a forensic one.
They should take account of children’s needs for therapeutic intervention and protection when required, she said."