HSE fail to probe nine children’s claims of sexual and physical abuse involving three female teachers

Published September 25, 2014 by JS2

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Children’s Ombudsman, Emily Logan

The report by Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan details allegations that two of her colleagues, including the principal, at times observed the beatings.

The HSE did not properly probe nine children’s claims of sexual and physical abuse involving three female teachers and they are still in their jobs, an inquiry has revealed.

The findings were handed to the families of the Kilkenny kids who had made a series of complaints in 2006.

The scandal centres on nine youngsters between five and 11 who claimed they were abused at the hands of one teacher.

The report by Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan details allegations that two of her colleagues, including the principal, at times observed the beatings.

The kids complained about Teacher A bringing them to the toilet and hitting them with a “thorny stick”.

The report said Child B and D claimed the teacher pressed it up against their private parts.

Child D only disclosed the abuse after they left the school but their parents had earlier made allegations of their child being helped to the toilet by the teacher in senior infants.

They added this was not warranted considering the age and development of their child.

The report said Child F told of more serious claims of physical and sexual assault including being blindfolded by the teacher in question while Teacher B was present.

The child said Teacher D had been told about it and his father told the Ombudsman that the youngster claimed the principal hurt them more than Teacher A.

Child C also complained of serious sexual abuse in the toilet by the teacher and that the principal and Teacher B had watched on.

The inquiry, which will never be published, detailed how Child K said Teacher A would take boys and girls “who were bold” to the toilet. The child said the youngsters were always crying when they came back in and said they overhead the teacher telling one of the kids not to “tell their mammy or daddy”.

The report said Teacher A was placed on administrative leave after the claims.

When the person left the school, more allegations came forward with the children becoming more open about the alleged abuse. In August 2008 a Garda file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions who recommended no prosecutions.

The principal was interviewed by the board of management and it found
the allegations were “unwarranted and unsubstantiated”.

Teacher A was allowed to return to the school after a similar finding was reached. Both of them are still working there.

The Ombudmsan said the allegations should have been probed as claims of physical abuse and not as corporal punishment as the HSE had treated them.

Ms Logan added the HSE failed to properly probe the allegations and the Education Department should have been monitoring them.

Child and family agency Tusla and the Department have four weeks to respond to the allegations.

Sarah Bardon

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