Children's Ombudsman: I tried convince others about abuse at St Patrick's Institution
on 17/10/2012 12:42:46
A damning report on St Patrick's Institution has found the human rights of young offenders were ignored or violated.
The Minister for Justice and the Children's Minister expressed shock at the report's findings and say measures are being taken to ensure the issues do not arise again.
Ms Logan began visiting St Patrick's in 2010. She told KFM that she had difficulty making people believe the abuse against some young people at the institution.
"When we went out to work in St Patrick's, what was interesting for me was the difficulty I had as Ombudsman in convincing people within the system that what the young people were telling us was happening within St Patrick's was, in fact, true," she said.
Ms Logan also said she was patronised and made fun of by prison officers when she inspected the institution last year.
"Effectively, if you have young people who have been in contact with the law, we are not expected to believe what they are saying," she told RTÉ.
Ms Logan noted that Department of Justice officials, up to the secretary general, told a United Nations committee the issues were about children's perception, not human rights abuse.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore also expressed his shock at the report, which was completed in June of this year and released yesterday.
He said that backing the Children's Rights Referendum would help to protect residents at St Patrick's against mistreatment.
"It would make sure, first of all, that they've a right to be heard in their own right, in respect of their care, in respect of any issue of abuse," he said.
"What we have seen in that report is shocking. It has to be addressed, and it will be addressed.
"The care of children irrespective of where they are, including children who are incarcerated, they have rights that have to be protected."