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Chapter 4 — Residential child welfare in Ireland 1965-2008

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Staff recruitment and the death of HT 270


On 31st June 1978, Fr Comiskey wrote to Mr O’Dwyer and suggested that the Executive of the Child Care Managers meet with representatives from the Department of Health and the Department of Education. Having suggested a number of dates, Fr Comiskey went on to state that: The Managers Executive has brought it to my attention that the Health Boards received the same document / letter prior to any discussion with, or reply from, them. They are deeply disturbed over this, as are their major superiors, and we would like this and a number of other points cleared up before proceeding any further with discussions on the document.


Mr O’Dwyer responded on 30th June stating: I am sorry to hear that your Superiors are concerned about the circulation of the document to the Programme Managers, Community Care, under Health Boards. First of all, this document has been circulated to them for information only. Secondly, there are a number of points raised which will require the co-operation of the health boards if they are to be implemented. Finally, we feel that it would be very desirable and necessary to have officers of the health boards involved in the discussions. You will appreciate that they are playing an ever increasing role in child care and the decisions which may emerge from our discussions are likely to affect them very much in the future.


A meeting between the various parties was arranged for 5th September 1978, and arising from that meeting, Mr O’Dwyer reported: The group have made very little progress in tackling the issues arising from my letter of 28 February 1978 and the meeting which took place on 28 July. They had only briefly and loosely discussed their ideas about the training of managers and about the role of social workers within and without the homes. There is very little prospect of their making progress unless they get a lot of help or some additional element is injected into their deliberations.


In relation to the role of social workers, Mr O’Dwyer reported that: A very confused discussion took place with regard to social workers. The managers seem to feel, not all of them for reasons that were clear to us, that they should have a social worker attached to each home. In the event, it was suggested to them that they should prepare a document setting out what is wrong with the present arrangements, what would be the role and function of the social worker attached to the home and what changes need to be made in the present position if they are to receive a resident social worker. The officers representing the Departments and the health boards indicated that they would be opposed to the introduction of residential social workers. A lot of dissatisfaction is apparently arising because of the turnover of social workers under health boards.


In November 1979, guidelines on the recruitment of child care workers were issued by the Resident managers Association, the Department of Health and the Department of Education. The guidelines outlined that: Those working in Residential Care must realize that the children they are caring for are not their own. They often are rejected, deprived, disturbed and insecure children. These children need all the parental care they can get but they also need professional, skilled people to help them work through insecurity towards full personal development. Residential work needs people with tremendous physical, mental and spiritual vitality. The person who is to become a residential care worker must be able to work with people in an intimate way. He or she should have a deep understanding of human nature and the needs of individuals, together with a genuine affection for deprived children. The work demands the highest level of training available. A child care worker is expected to use every opportunity to improve his or her skills in working with deprived children. Those wishing to train for a career in residential child care must work for at least a year in a residential home. Following successful completion of this year, the child care worker will be required to undertake formal training, which may involve attendance at day release or full-time courses at a training centre.


The qualities required by a childcare worker were also outlined and stated that: Those wishing to work with deprived children must be mature, stable and warm hearted adults, with a good and stable background. The worker must be able to communicate with others and must operate as a member of the team. He/she must understand and accept the philosophy of the establishment as a whole and be prepared to play his/her role as a fully responsible member. One of the most obvious skills in residential care is to be able to offer a warm and secure relationship to children. The child care worker must be able to organise the activities of a group of children, and show creativity in making the most constructive use of childrens’ leisure time. Skills in sewing, cooking, crafts and music are very useful as much of the day-to-day routine is taken up with looking after the physical needs of the children, washing clothes, cooking dinner and playing with the children. Applicants must have a good standard of education and a sound religious set of values.


As of December 1979, 474 staff were employed in residential care centres for deprived children. Half were under the age of 30 and while 31 percent had a diploma in childcare or other childcare qualification, nearly half had no relevant qualification. At this time, childcare training was provided in the School of Education, Kilkenny which opened in 1972, and provided a full-time year-long course for 20 students, but closed in 1981. The Dublin College of Catering at Cathal Brugha St offered a child care course from 1974 for 20 students per annum and Sligo Regional Technical College offered a course in childcare from 1979, primarily to train prison officers working in Loughan House. The ratio of staff to the number of children in the various homes varied considerably shown in figure 22. Figure 22: Staff – child ratio, 1979

Secure accommodation


The aforementioned memorandum for Government to outline the proposed implementation programme arising from the Interim Report of the Task Force on Child Care Services, in relation to St Joseph’s Clonmel, stated that ‘planning should proceed on the basis that the school may ultimately provide for 90 to 100 boys’. On the issue of the provision of facilities for children who were classified as ‘severely disturbed’, the memo noted: there is ample evidence that not enough of the right kind of residential facilities are available for the care of boys and girls who are severely emotionally disturbed. Such children require a high level of treatment and care. They have a very distressing and disturbing influence on other members of their families and on other children with whom they come into contact. The Task Force suggested the provision of special residential centres of the hostel type. It is not considered, however, that the provision of hostel type accommodation would, in itself, be sufficient to alleviate the problem. A number of recommendations made by the Henchy Committee, which considered the provision of treatment for juvenile offenders and potential juvenile offenders, would need to be implemented in order to provide enhanced residential assessment facilities, a secure centre for aggressive sociopaths, and facilities for treatment of acute psychiatric conditions. Until these or similar facilities are provided, the extent and need for special hostel type accommodation for the severely disturbed will not be clear.


On 17th May 1977, the Taoiseach, Mr Cosgrave, received a letter from the priests of the parish of Sean McDermott St.272 They outlined that: The inner city has many problems, such as inadequate housing, high levels of unemployment and the need for special and remedial classes in our schools and extra youth facilities. These must be tackled but we accept that all of them cannot be solved immediately. We are encouraged by the efforts of Tenants Associations, Dublin Corporation and voluntary bodies to help our young people. The immediate danger, however, is the uncontrollable lawlessness of youths under sixteen years of age, who rob, terrorise and destroy property with complete disregard for human life.273 These gangs are small in number, for most of the parents of this parish rear responsible, law-abiding families, often against extraordinary difficulties. The ultimate sanction for their contempt of the law at present is a lecture from a District Justice, after which the offenders must be realised to continue their law breaking. Most of them will not remain voluntarily in open children, or youth, centres. As you know, there is no custodial care for such law-breakers. We understand that Ireland is the only country in the E.E.C. in this unique position. In extreme cases where parental control has irretrievably broken down, it is unfortunately, at times, the only solution. Many of them have serious personal problems and for the sake of their own development, they urgently need – and have the right to expect – enlightened custodial care...Immediate emergency legislation introducing enlightened custodial care for young offenders under 16 years of age is urgently required to allay the fears of our parishioners, to cater for the needs of the youths concerned and to restore law and order.274


A reply was received on 14th June 1977, which outlined that arrangements for the provision of secure accommodation for both boys and girls was receiving urgent attention from the Department of Education. A background note on the issue of secure accommodation, prepared for the Minister for Justice, outlined that: When the new special school at Lusk for boys referred by the Courts was being planned in 1972 in replacement of the reformatory at Daingean, the Department of Education envisaged the inclusion of a measure of secure provision in one of the units being built. This proposal was opposed both by members of the Oblate Order (who conducted the school at Daingean and now conducts that at Lusk) and by outside elements associated with the CARE organisation. It was stated that the religious did not wish to find themselves cast in the role of gaolers...The School as planned, therefore, incorporated minimal provisions in the way of physical security and it became evident, soon after the school opened in early 1974, that it was incapable of catering for the disruptive type of boy in many cases.275


On 8th September 1977, Mr Tunney, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, announced that ‘A specialised project team has now been set up to plan the new secure special schools for young offenders in the under 16 groups as recommended by the Henchy Committee on the Mentally Ill and Maladjusted and the Task Force on Child Care Services.’276 The first meeting of the Project Team on Secure Units was held in the Department of Education on 9th September 1977. The chairman referred to the Government’s gave concern about the lack of facilities for coping with a small group of unmanageable young offenders. The matter had already been reported upon by the Henchy Committee and by the Task Force on Child Care Services and the decision to provide special units was in accordance with the recommendations of these bodies. (The Chairman also reminded members of the team of the requirements in regard to confidentiality in relation to the operation of the team.)


The team agreed that secure accommodation was required for between 25-30 boys and 15 for girls. The options laid before the project team were to construct a new building that would provide the secure accommodation required, convert an existing building or use a temporary building pending the availability of either the first or second option. It was agreed members of the team would visit secure units in Northern Ireland; to contact the Rev Fr Comiskey, Secretary of the Conference of Major Religious Superiors, to see if any religious Congregation had a suitable building available and to acquire from the Office of Public Works a list of possible buildings.


The second meeting of the team took place at Scoil Ard Mhuire on 13th September. The possibility of locating the proposed secure unit in Dundrum, where, the meeting was informed, the Department of Health were proposing to open a secure unit for 15 sociopaths between the ages of 12-15 was discussed as was the possibility reopening Daingean. At the third meeting of the team held on 29th September 1977, a report was given on the visit to Northern Ireland and: It was mentioned confidentially that as a result of intensification of after care activities in the near future the Department of Justice might be able to supply vacant accommodation for, say, 15 boys in St. Patrick’s if the laws were altered to allow children in the 14-16 age group to be placed there. By and large the team was against placing children of such a young age in such an environment.


In relation to reopening the former reformatory in Daingean, Fr MacGonagle, the former Manager, stated, ‘that while he would not favour it he felt that the newer part of the building there could be made reasonably suitable for such a unit provided the older part was demolished’. At the fourth meeting of the group, held on 12th October 1977, it was reported ‘to make it usable would be expensive; that the renovations would probably take more time than could be considered for a short-term solution, and that it could not be considered for a long term solution’. The committee agreed that while they ‘would not be very happy with using Daingean as a secure unit, it might be as well to keep it in mind in case nothing better was found’. The chairman, Mr Ó Maitiú, who had excused himself at the beginning of the meeting as he was meeting the Minister for Justice, Mr Collins and Mr Tunney, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, returned to the meeting after the discussion on Daingean had concluded. The minutes record that: He was accompanied by R. Mac Conchradha, P.O. in the Department of Justice, who is now to serve on the Team at the request of the Minister for Justice and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education. Both Mr. Collins and Mr. Tunney want the whole question of the Secure Unit for Boys treated as one of the utmost urgency – in fact, the Team is asked to take a decision within a fortnight so that an appropriate memorandum may be submitted to the Government.


The chairman then asked Mr Mac Conchradha to address the meeting, who, the minutes record: explained that his Department was recruiting a cadre of welfare officers who would be used to give intensive supervision to certain delinquents between 16 and 21 who could thus be released from custody. It was proposed to use, as an interim measure, the space made available in St. Patrick’s Institution or in an adjoining building in the North Circular Road complex to house intractable delinquents in the 12-16 years range. Until a long-term solution is finalised, those children will have to endure a prison regime. There is no alternative. His Minister proposes to paint a realistic picture to the public but can only do so if at the same time he shows that the long-term solution is being actively pursued. Hence the urgency. As no other site was available and as the acquisition of a site would take a considerable time, the Ministers were strongly of the view that the new school should be built on an unused portion of the present Oberstown Site.

  1. In drafting this paper, I received considerable assistance from the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, in particular Ms Feena Robinson and the Commissioners themselves, and for this I am most grateful. Mr Alan Savage facilitated my access to relevant files in the Department of Health and Children and his courtesy and unfailing assistance was much appreciated. The paper has benefited from productive conversations over a long number of years with Dr Helen Buckley, Dr Shane Butler and Professor Robbie Gilligan. In particular, I would like to thank Jessica Breen and Nicola Carr for their unfailing assistance and contribution to this paper.
  2. For example, the paper does not deal with adoption policy during this period, although it may be argued that the legalisation of adoption in 1952 contributed, in part, to the decline in the numbers of children placed in residential care. For further details on adoption policy in Ireland, see Shanahan, S (2005) ‘The Changing Meaning of Family: Individual Rights and Irish Adoption Policy, 1949-99’. Journal of Family History, 30, 1, 86-108 and Maguire, M (2002) ‘Foreign Adoptions and the Evolution of Irish Adoption Policy, 1945-1952’. Journal of Social History, 36, 2, 387-404.
  3. See Fuller, L (2002) Irish Catholicism since 1950: The Undoing of a Culture. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan and Donnelly, JS (2002) ‘The Troubled Contemporary Irish Catholic Church’ in Bradshaw, B and Keogh, D (eds) Christianity in Ireland: Revisiting the Story. Dublin: The Columba Press.
  4. See for example, Curtin, C and Varley, A (1984) ‘Children and Childhood in Rural Ireland: A Consideration of the Ethnographic Literature’ in Curtin, C, Kelly, M and O’Dowd, L (eds) Culture and Ideology in Ireland. Galway: Galway University Press; Kennedy, F (2001) Cottage to Crèche: Family Change in Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration; Walsh, T (2005) ‘Constructions of Childhood in Ireland in the Twentieth Century: A View from the Primary School Curriculum 1900-1999’. Child Care in Practice, 11, 2, 253-69; and Earner-Byrne, L (2007) Mother and Child: Maternity and Child Welfare in Dublin, 1922-60. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  5. See for example, Cousins, M (1999) ‘The Introduction of Children’s Allowances in Ireland 1939-1944’. Irish Economic and Social History, 26, 35-53; McCashin, A (2004) Social Security in Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan and Fahey, T, Russell, H and Whelan, CT (eds) (2007) Best of Times? The Social Impact of the Celtic Tiger. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
  6. The changing role of the Irish State is debated in Adshead, M, Kirby, P and Millar, M (eds) 2008) Contesting the State: Lessons from the Irish Case. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  7. For a representative sample, see Girvin, B (2008) ‘Church, State and Society in Ireland since 1960’. Eire-Ireland, 43, 1&2, 74-98; Fuller, L (2005) ‘Religion, Politics and Socio-Cultural Change in Twentieth-Century Ireland’. The European Legacy, 10, 1, 41-54; Daly, ME (2006) ‘Marriage, Fertility and Women’s Lives in Twentieth-Century Ireland’ (c 1900-c 1970). Women’s History Review, 15, 4, 571-85; Foster, RF (2007) ‘“Changed Utterly”? Transformation and Continuity in Late Twentieth – Century Ireland’. Historical Research, 80, 209, 425; Ferriter, D (2008) ‘Women and Political Change in Ireland since 1960’. Eire-Ireland, 43, 1&2, 179-204 and Breathnach, C (2008) ‘Ireland Church, State and Society’, 1900-1975. The History of the Family. 13, 4. 333-9.
  8. As McCullagh has argued in relation to the juvenile justice system ‘Since the foundation of the state, there has been a remarkable agreement about the juvenile justice system. There was consensus that it was not working, there was considerable consensus over how it should be reformed, and there was a seeming consensus that nothing would or could be done about it.’ McCullagh, C (2006) Juvenile Justice in Ireland: Rhetoric and Reality in O’Connor, T and Murphy, M (eds) Social Care in Ireland: Theory, Policy and Practice. Cork: CIT Press. p 161. In a similar vein, O’Connor observed: ‘One of the puzzling enigmas of Irish Social Policy is the contrast between, on the one hand, the clear endorsement of the family as the pivotal unit in Irish Society and, on the other hand, the reluctance up to very recently to initiate legislative reform to protect the most vulnerable members of that group – children. O’Connor, P (1992) ‘Child Care Policy: A Provocative Analysis and Research Agenda’. Administration, 40, 3, 215.
  9. See, Brennan, C (2007) ‘Facing What Cannot be Changed: The Irish Experience of Confronting Institutional Child Abuse’. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 29, 3-4, 245-63; Ferguson, H (2007) ‘Abused and Looked After Children as “Moral Dirt”: Child Abuse and Institutional Care in Historical Perspective’. Journal of Social Policy, 36, 1, 123-39; Ferguson, H (2000) ‘States of Fear, Child Abuse and Irish Society’. Doctrine and Life, 50, 1, 20-30 and Christie, A (2001) ‘Social Work in Ireland’. British Journal of Social Work, 31, 1, 141-8.
  10. See for example, Gallagher, B (2000) ‘The Extent and Nature of Known Cases of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse’. British Journal of Social Work, 30, 6, 795-817; Corby, B, Doig, A and Roberts, V (2001) Public Inquiries into Abuse of Children in Residential Care. London: Jessica Kinglsey; Colton, M (2002) ‘Factors Associated with Abuse in Residential Child Care Institutions’. Children and Society, 16, 1, 33-44; Colton, M, Vanstone, M and Walby, C (2002) ‘Victimization, Care and Justice: Reflections on the Experiences of Victims/Survivors Involved in Large-scale Historical Investigations of Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Institutions’. British Journal of Social Work, 32, 5, 541-51; Stein, M (2006) Missing Years of Abuse in Children’s Homes. Child and Family Social Work, 11, 1, 11-21; Shaw, T (2007) Historical Abuse Systemic Review: Residential Schools and Children’s Homes in Scotland 1950-1995. Edinburgh: Scottish Government; Sen, R, Kendrick, A, Milligan, I and Hawthorn, M (2008) ‘Lessons Learnt? Abuse in Residential Child Care in Scotland’. Child and Family Social Work, 13, 4, 411-22. For a critical account of the claims of historic abuse in children’s homes, see Smith, M (2008) ‘Historical Abuse in Residential Child Care: An Alternative View’. Practice: Social Work in Action, 20, 1, 29-41.
  11. See Bessner, R (1998) Institutional Child Abuse in Canada. Ottawa: Law Commission of Canada; Law Commission of Canada (2000) Restoring Dignity: Responding to Child Abuse in Canadian Institutions. Ottawa: Law Commission of Canada; Hall, M (2000) ‘The Liability of Public Authorities for the Abuse of Children in Institutional Care: Common Law Developments in Canada and The United Kingdom’. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 14, 3, 281-301.
  12. It is estimated that over 43,000 children were placed in residential homes managed by the Sisters of Mercy between 1846 and 1997. See, Clarke, M (1998) Lives in Care: Issues for Policy and Practice in Irish Children’s Homes. Dublin: Mercy Congregation and the Children’s Research Centre, TCD. pp 123-4.
  13. These were: Trinity House School, Lusk, County Dublin; Oberstown Boys Centre, Lusk, County Dublin; Oberstown Girls Centre, Lusk, County Dublin; and Finglas Child and Adolescent Centre, Finglas West, Dublin 11.
  14. The children detention school in Clonmel became premises provided and maintained by the Heath Service Executive under the Child Care Act 1991. Established in 2005, the Health Service Executive replaced a complex structure of regional health boards, the Eastern Regional Health Authority and a number of other different agencies and organisations.
  15. According to the Report, ‘The primary aim of the proposed Youth Justice Service is to bring together the services for all young offenders under one governance and management structure. The Youth Justice Service should therefore assume responsibility for the operation of the children detention schools. Existing staff, financial resources and infrastructure for these schools would transfer to the new Youth Justice Service. The Department of Education and Science should continue to play an essential role in the provision of appropriate educational supports.’ Government of Ireland (2006) Report on the Youth Justice Review. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 40. The Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) was established in December 2005 and the main responsibilities of IYJS are to: develop a unified youth justice policy; devise and develop a national strategy to deliver this policy and service; link this strategy where appropriate with other child related strategies; manage and develop children detention facilities; manage the implementation of provisions of the Children Act 2001 which relate to community sanctions, restorative justice conferencing and diversion; Co-ordinate service delivery at both national and local level; establish and support consultation and liaison structures with key stakeholders including at local level to oversee the delivery of this service and response; and develop and promote information sources for the youth justice sector to inform further strategies, policies and programmes.
  16. Section 1(V) of the Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 set out that ‘The Department of Education which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with Education, including primary, secondary and university education, vocational and technical training, endowed schools, reformatories, and industrial schools, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the Fourth Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Oideachais or (in English) the Minister for Education.’
  17. In addition, the IYJS will assume operational responsibility for the detention of children aged 16 and 17. These children are currently detained within the Irish Prison Service in St Patrick’s Institution. When Part 9 of the Children Act 2001 is fully commenced, 16- and 17-year-old offenders will be detained in a children detention centre(s), operational responsibility for which should reside with the Irish Youth Justice Service.
  18. Government of Ireland (2006) Report on the Youth Justice Review. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 40.
  19. It should be noted that this was proposed as an interim measure as the Review highlighted that the most appropriate body was one which had responsibility for the care of young people and argued that ‘this would reflect the practice in other international jurisdictions which have placed youth justice in structures which also have responsibility for the delivery of broad child-related services. However, no existing social service structure seems appropriate for the incorporation of a youth care and justice service at this time. The capacity of care and social services would have to be expanded to cope with the introduction of these additional services and the organisational structures would need revision to an extent not practical in the short term. Therefore, as an interim measure, it is proposed that a Youth Justice Service, which would take responsibility for offending children only, be established under the aegis of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. Government of Ireland (2006) Report on the Youth Justice Review. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 39.
  20. These criticisms predate the foundation of the State. For example, in 1899, it was argued ‘In Ireland we are at once met by the fact that State interference with children is carried out by different authorities who are not bound to consult each other. The Inspector of Reformatories and Industrial Schools does not deal with children in workhouses. The Poor-Law Inspector is not concerned with those in Industrial Schools. The Pauper Children’s Act sanctions another interloper who is to inspect Local Government Board schools. The Prison authorities play the part of awkward foster parents to children who drift into gaols. School Attendance Committees also have a finger in the pie. And various boards of guardians can, to a large extent, experiment independently, according to their understanding, or want of it, with childhood in its helpless stages.....it is a matter of chance under which regime a child may fall, according as he first meets a relieving officer, a policeman, or a philanthropist connected with some school.’ (Daly, ED (1899) ‘The Children and the State’. The New Ireland Review, July, pp 262-3). Millin, a decade later argued that ‘What we want in Ireland is a Department for Children, which will in no way be connected with the workhouse, nor bear a name which will cast a stigma on the children. The management of that Department should be largely, if not exclusively, in the hands of women. There should be full power to board out any child in any part of Ireland; and no child should be sent to an industrial school, unless sanctioned by the Department, after boarding-out has been tried, and has proved a failure in each particular case. (Millin, SS (1909) ‘The Duty of the State towards the Pauper Children of Ireland’. Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Vol xii, pp 260-1.) After independence, the issue was debated in the Report of the Commission on the Relief of the Poor, which rejected the establishment of a state department dealing entirely with children, arguing that ‘we are not convinced that the interests of the children would be better served by a single ‘mixed’ authority exercising a number of unrelated duties than by the several departments amongst which these duties are at present distributed’. Report of the Commission on the Relief of the Sick and Destitute Poor, including the Insane Poor. (1928) Dublin: Stationery Office, p 74.
  21. The National Children’s Strategy, Our Children — Their Lives, was published in November 2000. The three national goals of the strategy are: (1) Children will have a voice in matters which affect them and their views will be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity; (2) Children’s lives will be better understood; their lives will benefit from evaluation, research and information on their needs, rights and the effectiveness of services; and (3) Children will receive quality supports and services to promote all aspects of their development. On the background to the Strategy, see Pinkerton, J (2001) ‘Ireland’s National Children’s Strategy – An Inside Outsider’s View’. Children and Society, 15, 2, 118-21.
  22. The National Children’s Office (NCO) was established in 2001 to lead and oversee the implementation of the National Children’s Strategy. The NCO was given the lead responsibility for Goal 1 (children’s participation) and Goal 2 (research). In regard to Goal 3 (improving supports and services), the NCO had a particular responsibility for progressing key policy issues identified as priorities by the Cabinet Committee on Children and which require cross-departmental/interagency action.
  23. Austin Currie first held the post between 2nd December 1994 and 26th June 1997. He was followed by Frank Fahey (8th July 1997 – 1st February 2000); Mary Hanafin (1st February 2000-6th June 2002); Brian Lenihan (19th June 2002 – 14th June 2007); Brendan Smith (20th June 2007 – 7th May, 2008). Chris Flood held a co-ordinating post between Health and Education between 1991 and 1994.
  24. The Special Residential Services Board was established in 2001, having had an interim board from April 2000, and put on a statutory basis in November 2003 pursuant to Part 11 of the Children Act 2001. Under this Act the functions of the Board included the provision of policy advice to the Ministers with responsibility for Health and Children and Education and Science on the remand and detention of children in detention schools and special care units. The Board also had a remit to both co-ordinate and advise the courts on the appropriate placement of children in children detention schools.
  25. The final sections of the Child Care Act 1991 were enacted on 18th December 1996.
  26. All sections of the Act, not already enacted, were enacted on 23rd July 2007 (SI No 524 of 2007 Children Act 2001 (Commencement) (No 3) Order 2007).
  27. In addition, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified by Ireland in September 1992 and came into force on 21st October, 1992. For further details, see Kilkelly, U (2008) Children’s Rights In Ireland: Law, Policy and Practice. Tottel Publishing.
  28. The Act superseded the Child (Care and Protection) Bill 1985. The second stage of the Bill was passed in the Dáil on 23rd January 1987 but had not progressed further by the time of the dissolution of the Dáil in January 1987. For further details on the Act, see Ferguson, H and Kenny, P (1995) On Behalf of the Child: Child Welfare, Child Protection and the Child Care Act, 1991. Dublin: A&A Farmar; Gilligan, R (1996) ’Irish Child Care Services in the 1990s: The Child Care Act 1991 and Other Developments’ in Hill, M and Aldgate, J (eds) Child Welfare Services: Developments in Law, Policy, Practice and Research. London, Jessica Kingsley, pp 56-74 and Ward, P (1997) The Child Care Act, 1991. Dublin: Roundhall.
  29. A number of studies have attempted to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the Child Care Act 1991 in achieving the objectives set out in the Act. A non-exhaustive list of research on aspects of residential care includes: Gilligan, R (1996) ‘Children Adrift in Care?-Can the Child Care Act 1991 Rescue the 50 percent who are in Care Five Years and More?’. Irish Social Worker, 14, 1, 17-19; Stein, M, Pinkerton, J and Kelleher, P (2000) ‘Young People Leaving Care in England, Northern Ireland and Ireland’. European Journal of Social Work, 3, 3, 235-46; Buckely, H (2002) ‘Issues in Residential care’ in Buckely, H (ed) Child Protection and Welfare – Innovations and Interventions. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration; Gilligan, R (2007) ‘Adversity, Resilience and Educational Progress of Young People in Public Care’. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 12, 2, 135-45; Mayock, P and O’Sullivan, E (2007) Lives in Crisis: Homeless Young People in Dublin. Dublin: Liffey Press.
  30. See SI 259 of 1995 Child Care (Placement of Children in Residential Care) Regulations 1995 and SI No 397 of 1996 Child Care (Standards in Children’s Residential Centres) Regulations 1996. In addition, a Guide to Good Practice in Children’s Residential Centres was published by the Department of Health. The Department of Health published National Standards for Children’s Residential Centres in 2001 and the Department of Education and Science published Standards and Criteria for Children Detention Schools in 2002. In 2006, the Health Service Executive published detailed guidance on promoting best practice on leaving care and aftercare. Health Service Executive (2006) Model for the Delivery of Leaving Care and Aftercare Services in HSE North West Dublin, North Central Dublin and North Dublin. Dublin: HSE.
  31. Corporal punishment was effectively prohibited from February 1982, when the Department of Education issued new regulations which outlined that ‘1. Teachers should have a lively regard for the improvement and general welfare of their pupils, treat them with kindness combined with firmness and should aim at governing them through their affections and reason and not by harshness and severity. Ridicule, sarcasm or remarks likely to undermine a pupil’s self-confidence should not be used in any circumstances. 2. The use of corporal punishment is forbidden. 3. Any teacher who contravenes sections (1) or (2) of this rule will be regarded as guilty of conduct unbefitting a teacher and will be subject to severe disciplinary action.’ For further information on corporal punishment in Ireland, see Maguire, MJ and Ó Cinnéide, S (2005) ‘“A Good Beating Never Hurt Anyone”: The Punishment and Abuse of Children in Twentieth Century Ireland’. Journal of Social History, 38, 3, 635-52.
  32. For further details on the provisions of the Act, see McDermot, PA and Robinson, T (2003) Children Act, 2001. Dublin: Thomson / RoundHall, Kilkelly, U (2006) ‘Reform of Youth Justice in Ireland: The “New” Children Act 2001. Part 1’. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 16, 4, 2-7 and Kilkelly, U (2007) ‘Reform of Youth Justice in Ireland: The “New” Children Act 2001. Part 2’. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 17, 1, 2-8.
  33. Shannon, G (2005) Child Law. Dublin: Thomson/Round Hall. p vii. For a comprehensive overview of juvenile justice in Ireland, see Walsh, D (2005) Juvenile Justice. Dublin: Round Hall and Bowe, J (2005) Literature Review and System Review. Dublin: Irish Association for the Study of Delinquency and for a comparative history, Caul, B (1984) A Comparative Study of the Juvenile Justice Systems of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Unpublished PhD thesis. Trinity College, Dublin.
  34. On this shift, see Seymour, M (2006) ‘Transition and Reform: Juvenile Justice in the Republic of Ireland’ in Junger-Tas, J and Decker, SH (eds) International Handbook of Juvenile Justice. Springer, pp 117-44 and O’Dwyer, K (2001) Restorative Justice Initiatives in the Garda Siochana: Evaluation of the Pilot Project. Templemore: Garda Research Unit.
  35. In a comparative context, this shift is somewhat at odds with a general drift towards more punitive polices for young offenders. See for example, Muncie, J (2008) ‘The “Punitive Turn” in Juvenile Justice: Cultures of Control and Rights Compliance in Western Europe and the USA’. Youth Justice, 8, 2, 107-21 and Muncie, J (2006) ‘Repenalisation and Rights: Explorations in Comparative Youth Criminology’. The Howard Journal, 45, 1, 42-70.
  36. There are 10 community sanctions available to the courts under the Act: They are: community service order: a child of 16 or 17 years of age agrees to complete unpaid work for a set total number of hours; day centre order: a child is to go to a centre at set times and, as part of the order, to take part in a programme of activities; probation order: this places a child under the supervision of the Probation Service for a period during which time the child must meet certain conditions which are set by the court; training or activities order: a child has to take part in and complete a programme of training or similar activity. The programme should help the child learn positive social values; intensive supervision order: a child is placed under the supervision of a named probation officer and has to attend a programme of education, training or treatment as part of their time under supervision; residential supervision order: this is where a child is to live in a suitable hostel. The hostel is to be close to where they normally live, attend school or go to work; a suitable person (care and supervision) order: with the agreement of the child’s parents or guardian, the child is placed in the care of a suitable adult; a mentor (family support) order: a person is assigned to help, advise and support the child and his/her family in trying to stop the child from committing further offences; restriction of movement order: this requires a child to stay away from certain places and to be at a specific address between 7pm and 6am each day; a dual order: this combines a Restriction of Movement Order with either supervision by a probation officer or attendance at a day centre. The growing involvement with the Probation Service with young offenders was reflected in the creation of Young Person’s Probation (YPP), which is a division of the Probation Service. The YPP works with approximately 600 young offenders nationally. As part of their role in working to reduce offending, the YPP has responsibility for the implementation of certain provisions under the Children Act 2001.
  37. An exception is made for 10- and 11-year-olds charged with very serious offences, such as unlawful killing, a rape offence or aggravated sexual assault. In addition, the Director of Public Prosecutions must give consent for any child under the age of 14 years to be charged. Although the Act in general prohibits children less than 12 years of age from being charged and convicted of a criminal offence, they do not enjoy total immunity from action being taken against them. Section 53 of the Act as amended by section 130 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 places an onus on the Gardaí to take a child under 12 years of age to his/her parents or guardian, where they have reasonable grounds for believing that the child has committed an offence with which the child cannot be charged due to the child’s age. Where this is not possible the Gardaí will arrange for the child to be taken into the custody of the Health Service Executive (HSE) for the area in which the child normally resides. It is possible that children under 12 years of age who commit criminal offences will be dealt with by the HSE and not the criminal justice system.
  38. Kilkelly, U (2007) ‘Reform of Youth Justice in Ireland: The “New” Children Act 2001. Part 1’. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 17, 1, 2. The provisos in relation to age of criminal responsibility are discussed above. In relation to the diversion programme, the primary change is to expand to remit of the scheme to children aged 10 and 11, i.e. below the age of criminal responsibility, for those deemed to be involved in anti-social behaviour. The changes in the arrangements for the detention children relate to the transfer of administrative responsibility from the Department of Education and Science to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The issue that generated most adverse publicity was the introduction of new provisions for children deemed to be involved in anti-social behaviour. For further details, see Garrett, PM (2007) ‘Learning from the “Trojan Horse”? The Arrival of ‘Anti-Social Behaviour Orders’ in Ireland’. European Journal of Social Work, 10, 4, 497-511 and Hamilton, C and Seymour, M (2006) ‘ASBOs and Behaviour Orders: Institutionalised Intolerance of Youth?’ Youth Studies Ireland, 1, 1, 61-75.
  39. For further details, see, Ward, P (1995) ‘Homeless Children and the Child Care Act, 1991’. Irish Law Times, 13, 19-21 and Whyte, G (2002) Social Inclusion and the Legal System: Public Interest Law in Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
  40. PS v Eastern Health Board (unreported, 27th July 1994), High Court, Geoghegan J.
  41. For further information, see Kenny, B (2000) Responding to the Needs of Troubled Children: A Critique of High Support and Secure Care Provision in Ireland. Dublin: Barnardo’s and Social Information Systems (2003) Definition and Usage of High Support in Ireland. Dublin: Special Residential Services Board.
  42. DB (a minor suing by his mother and next friend SB) v The Minister for Justice, The Minister for Health, The Minister for Education, Ireland and The Attorney General and the Eastern Health Board (unreported, 29th July 1998).
  43. The key distinction between high support units and special care units is that a child can be detained in a special care unit but not in a high support unit, but there has been confusion as to the precise purpose and functions of high support units. See Social Information Systems (2003) Definition and Usage of High Support in Ireland. Dublin: Special Residential Services Board.
  44. See Carr for further details on the mechanisms by which children enter such units. Carr, N (2008) ‘Exceptions to the Rule? The Role of the High Court in Secure Care in Ireland’. Irish Journal of Family Law, 11, 4, 84-91.
  45. For further details, see Fahey, T (1992) ‘State, Family and Compulsory Schooling in Ireland’. Economic and Social Review, 23, 4, 369-95 and Department of Education (1994) School Attendance/Truancy Report. Dublin: Department of Education.
  46. Commission on the Garda Síochána (1970) Remuneration and Conditions of Service. Dublin: Government Publications Office. p 201.
  47. Committee of Enquiry into Reformatory and Industrial Schools’ Systems. (1970) Report. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 82.
  48. Ibid. p 82.
  49. They are: clinical biochemists, medical scientists, psychologists, chiropodists/podiatrists, dieticians, orthoptists, physiotherapists, radiographers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, social care workers and social workers.
  50. Department of Health (1996) Report on the Inquiry into the Operation of Madonna House. Dublin: Stationery Office. p xi.
  51. See, O’Brien, L (2008) ‘Protection through Inspection: An Exploration of the Effectiveness of Irish Inspection Services in Relation to Promoting a Child’s Right to Make a Complaint in Residential Care’. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 7, 1, 14-20.
  52. See, Martin, F (2006) ‘Key Roles of the Ombudsman for Children in Ireland: Promotion of Rights and Investigation of Grievances’. Dublin University Law Journal, 26, 56-82.
  53. Department of Health (1976) Report of the Committee on Non Accidental Injury to Children. Dublin: Stationery Office. In early 1977, a group of social workers published a discussion document on child abuse in Ireland: see. Dear, L, Hand, D, Harding, M, McCarthy, I and Smyth, P (1977) Suffer the Children: A Discussion Document on Child Abuse in Ireland. Dublin: North Dublin Social Workers.
  54. Ibid. p 10.
  55. Department of Health (1977) Memorandum on Non-Accidental Injury to Children, Dublin: Department of Health.
  56. Greene, D (1979) ‘Legal Aspects of Non-accidental Injury to Children’. Administration, 27, 4, p 460.
  57. Department of Health (1980) Guidelines on the Identification and Management of Non-Accidental Injury to Children. Dublin: Department of Health.
  58. Buckley, H (1996) ‘Child Abuse Guidelines in Ireland: For whose Protection?’ in H Ferguson and T McNamara (eds) Protecting Irish Children: Investigation, Protection and Welfare. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, pp 37-56.
  59. For further information on the incorporation of child sexual abuse in child abuse guidelines, see Cooney, T and Torode, R (1988) Report of the Child Sexual Abuse Working Party. Dublin: Irish Council for Civil Liberties and McKeown, K and Gilligan, R (1991) ‘Child Sexual Abuse in the Eastern Health Board Region of Ireland in 1988: An Analysis of 512 Confirmed Cases’. Economic and Social Review, 22, 2, 101-34.
  60. Irish Council for Civil Liberties (1988) Report of the Child Sexual Abuse Working Party. Dublin: ICCL. p 12.
  61. Similar Committees of Enquiry had been established in England/Wales and Scotland in 1925 and 1926 respectively to examine similar concerns, see Smart, C (2000) ‘Reconsidering the Recent History of Child Sexual Abuse, 1910-1960’. Journal of Social Policy, 29, 1, 55-72. A similar reconsideration of the extent of knowledge of child sexual abuse is also evident in the UK. See for example, Jackson, LA (2000) Child Sexual Abuse in Victorian England. London: Routledge and Davidson, R (2001) ‘“This Pernicious Delusion”: Law, Medicine, and Child Sexual Abuse in Early-Twentieth-Century Scotland’. Journal of the History of Sexuality, 10, 1, 62-77.
  62. NA H247/41a. p 2.
  63. NA H247/41a. p 5.
  64. NA H247/41a. p 2.
  65. For further details see, Keogh, D (1994) Twentieth-Century Ireland: Nation and State. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, pp 71-3; Finnane, M (2001) ‘The Carrigan Committee of 1930-31 and the “moral condition of the Saorstat”’. Irish Historical Studies, xxxii (128): 519-36; Kennedy, F (2000) ‘The Suppression of the Carrigan Report – A Historical Perspective on Child Abuse’. Studies, 86 (356), 354-63; Luddy, M (2007) Prostitution and Irish Society, 1800-1940. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp 227-37; Maguire, MJ (2007) ‘The Carrigan Committee and Child Sexual Abuse in twentieth-century Ireland’. New Hibernia Review, 11, 2, 79-100; McAvoy, S (1999) ‘The Regulation of Sexuality in the Irish Free State, 1929-1935’ in Jones, G and Malcolm, E (eds). Medicine, Disease and the State in Ireland, 1650-1940. Cork: Cork University Press. pp 253-66; Smith, JM (2004) ‘The Politics of Sexual Knowledge: The Origins of Ireland’s Containment Culture and “The Carrigan Report”’ (1931), Journal of the History of Sexuality, 13, 2, 208-33. Crowley, U and Kitchin, R (2008) ‘Producing “decent girls”: Governmentality and the Moral Geographies of Sexual Conduct in Ireland (1922-1937)’. Gender, Place and Culture, 15, 4, 355-72.
  66. South Eastern Health Board (1993) Kilkenny Incest Investigation – Report presented to Mr Brendan Howlin T.D. Minister to Health by South Eastern Health Board, May 1993. Dublin: Stationery Office. This investigation concerned the sexual and physical abuse of a young woman by her father over many years. The notoriety surrounding the case arose out of media reports of the father’s trial and sentencing for incest. It became known that the health and social services had had over 100 contacts with the family in the 13 years prior to the prosecution, during which time the abuse had continued. The television coverage of the case included an interview with the young woman, known by the pseudonym of ‘Mary’, in which she criticised the social worker involved. In the wake of further widespread condemnation of the child care services, the Minister for Health announced a public inquiry, the first of its kind in Ireland. The inquiry team, under the chairpersonship of a judge, Catherine McGuinness, reported after three months. The report identified a number of deficiencies in both the child protection system, and in the professional activities of the various practitioners involved, particularly in relation to poor inter-agency cooperation and weaknesses in management. For Ferguson in his analysis of the investigation argued that ‘The case has heightened public awareness, made child abuse into a political issue and increased expectations that such cases “won’t happen again”. There is, of course, no guarantee that a “Kilkenny”-type case will not happen again. But if, or when, it does it is doubtful that an inquiry will be as reluctant to criticise individual professionals and the relevant government departments.’ See, Ferguson, H (1993-4) Child Abuse Inquiries and the Report of the Kilkenny Incest Investigation: A Critical Analysis. Administration, Vol 41, No 4, p 406.
  67. See Holden, W (1994) Unlawful Carnal Knowledge: The True Story of the Irish ‘X’ Case. London: Harper Collins and Smyth, A (1993) ‘The “X” Case: Women and Abortion in the Republic of Ireland, 1992’. Feminist Legal Studies, 1, 2, 163-77.
  68. Keenan, O (1996) Kelly: A Child is Dead. Interim Report of the Joint Committee on the Family. Dublin: Government Publications Office.
  69. See, McKay, S (1998) Sophia’s Story. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan and Sgroi, SM (1999) ‘The McColgan case: Increasing Public Awareness of Professional Responsibility for Protecting Children from Physical and Sexual Abuse in the Republic of Ireland’. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 8, 1, 113-27. Sophia McColgan’s father, Joseph McColgan, was convicted in 1995 of raping and abusing his children over a 20-year period which only ended in 1993. McColgan, dubbed ’the West of Ireland farmer’, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
  70. See Moore, C (1995) Betrayal of Trust: The Father Brendan Smyth Affair and the Catholic Church: Dublin: Marino Books. Smyth, a member of the Norbertine Order, who died of natural causes in the Curragh prison in August 1997, was sentenced to 12 years in jail having pleaded guilty to 74 charges of indecent and sexual assault committed over a period of 35 years. He had previously served three years in jail in Northern Ireland for 43 similar offences. Ferguson in a critical analysis of the popularisation of the ‘Paedophile Priest’ has argued that ‘The intense focus on the sexuality of priests constitutes a selective response to recent disclosures of sexual abuse which not only raise issues for the church, but serious questions about men, masculinity, the family, sexuality, and organisations. In constructing the debate in terms of clerical celibacy and the “paedophile priest”, attention is deflected from the fundamental issue that men from all social backgrounds commit such crimes of violence and are policed by a range of organisations that are male dominated.’ Ferguson, H (1995) ‘The Paedophile Priest: A Deconstruction’. Studies, 84, 335, 247-56.
  71. Report on the Inquiry into the Operation of Madonna House. (1996) Dublin: Department of Health. Madonna House was opened on 20th January 1955 on the request of the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr McQuaid, and managed by the Irish Sisters of Charity. It closed in 1995.
  72. This documentary detailed the recollections of a former pupil in St Vincent’s Industrial School in Dublin during the 1950s (more commonly known as Goldenbridge). Inglis has argued that ‘The story of Goldenbridge is really a story of the power of the media in Irish society and how it has become a dominant player in every social field. It demonstrates the ability of the media, particularly television, to change the language and the stories about nuns and the Church and thereby to shatter the myth which had been established. The ongoing, unquestioned, predisposition through which the nuns were perceived, known and understood was broken. The documentary reflected the demise of the Church’s ability to have only good stories told about itself.’ Inglis, T (1998) Moral Monopoly: The Rise and Fall of the Catholic Church in Modern Ireland. Dublin: UCD Press, pp 229-30.
  73. For an overview of aspects of the consequences of institutional sexual abuse in an Irish context, see O’Riordan, M and Arensman, E (2007) Institutional Child Sexual Abuse and Suicidal behaviour: Outcomes of a Literature Review, Consultation Meetings and a Qualitative Study. Dublin: National Suicide Research Foundation.
  74. Dolan, P (1995) ‘Innocent but never exonerated! Guilty but never caught!’ Irish Social Worker, 13, 1, p 11.
  75. Buckley, H, Skehill, C and O’Sullivan, E (1997) Child Protection Practices in Ireland: A Case Study. Dublin: Oak Tree Press; Ferguson, H and O’Reilly, M (2001) Keeping Children Safe: Child Abuse, Child Protection and the Promotion of Welfare, Dublin: A & A Farmar.
  76. Report of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Advisory Committee on Child Sexual Abuse by Priests and Religious (1996) Child Sexual Abuse: Framework for a Church Response. Dublin: Veritas.
  77. Department of Health (1997) Putting Children First: Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Children. Dublin: Government Publications.
  78. In March 2003 the Minister for Health and Children announced the establishment of the Inquiry into the handling of allegations of child sex abuse in the Diocese of Ferns. See Murphy, F, Buckley, H and Joyce, L (2005) The Ferns Report: Presented to the Minister for Health and Children. Dublin: Stationery Office and Crowe, C (2008) The Ferns Report: Vindicating the Abused Child. Eire-Ireland, 43, 1&2, 50-73.
  79. Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (2008) National Review of Compliance with Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection & Welfare of Children.
  80. Buckley, H, Whelan, S, Carr, N and Murphy, C (2008) Services Users’ Perceptions of the Irish Child Protection System. Dublin: Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.
  81. Data for this section of the are culled from two primary sources: The Annual Statistical Report of the Department of Education which are available from the 1920s and the Department of Health Surveys of Children in the Care of Health Boards which commenced in 1978.
  82. The Department of Education in reviewing the organisation of Reformatory and Industrial Schools in 1927 compared the numbers of children in such schools in England and concluded that a key reason why so many children in Ireland were placed in Industrial Schools was that: ‘whereas in Britain the Industrial School is almost entirely a school for the conviction of delinquents in Saorstát Eireann it is mainly a camouflaged Poor Law School and that it has since the beginning of the century tended more and more to this use so that now it contains a much greater number of children who normally would be in Poor Law Institutions than the latter institutions themselves. The contrast with Great Britain in this respect is very remarkable and one of the tasks of any Commission set up to enquire into the Industrial School system here would be to report as to whether it would not be more desirable that all children who have to be supported by rates or taxes because of destitution should not be dealt with in this way.’
  83. This trend was not unique to Ireland. For example, in the USA, the number of children in institutional care fell from 144,000 in 1933 to 43,000 in 1977. See Jones, MB (1993) ‘Decline of the American Orphanage, 1941-1980’. Social Service Review, 67, 459-80. In England and Wales, the numbers of children in residential care declined 35,000 in the mid-1950s to 13,300 in 1991. Butler, I and Drakeford, M (2003) Scandal, Social Policy and Social Welfare. Bristol: Policy Press.
  84. This figure excludes other forms of care such as pre-adoptive placements, those at home under care orders, supported lodgings and other ad-hoc arrangements to facilitate the time series.
  85. This apparent increase may be a result of a change in the method for recording children in care, see below for further details.
  86. Although cross-national comparisons are fraught with difficulties, the rate in Ireland is lower than the rate in England which was over five children per 1,000 population in 2006, but which had declined from a rate of nearly eight in the early 1980s. See Rowlands, J and Statham, J (2009) ‘Numbers of Children Looked After in England: A Historical Analysis’. Child and Family Social Work, 14, 1, 79-89.
  87. This figure excludes other forms of care such as pre-adoptive placements, at home under care orders, supported lodgings and other ad-hoc arrangements to facilitate the time series. The majority of these placements appear to be separated children seeking asylum.
  88. These national figures conceal considerable variations by health board area. For further details on foster care in Ireland, see Gilligan, R (1990) ‘Foster Care for Children in Ireland: Issues and Challenges for the 1990s’. Dublin: Department of Social Studies, Trinity College Dublin; Gilligan, R (1996) ‘The Foster care Experience in Ireland: Findings from a Postal Survey’. Child: Care, Health and Development, 22,2, 85-98; Horgan, R (2002) ‘Foster Care in Ireland’. Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 3, 1, 30-50; Daly, F and Gilligan, R (2005) Lives in Foster Care – The Educational and Social Support Experiences of Young People Aged 13-14 years in Long Term Foster Care. Dublin: Children’s Research Centre.
  89. While this section of the paper provides an overview of the number of children in the care system based on administrative data, relatively few studies have supplemented this secondary data with primary data. Notable exceptions in respect of residential care not already cited include: Craig, S, Donnellan, M, Graham, G and Warren, A (1998) ‘Learn to Listen’: The Irish Report of a European Study on Residential Child Care. Dublin: DIT; Edmond, R (2002) Learning from their Lessons: Study of Young People in Residential Care and their Experiences of Education. Dublin: Children’s Research Centre; Fahey-Bates, B (1996) Aspects of Childhood Deviancy: A Study of Young Offenders in Open Centres in the Republic of Ireland. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Education, University College Dublin.
  90. The category ‘Returned to parents or friends’ is a sum of the three categories ‘Returned to Parents or Friends’, ‘Returned to parents or guardians for employment’, and ‘Returned to parents or friends for further education’.
  91. This School closed in the school year 1975-76.
  92. This school closed in June 1974.
  93. Opened 14th January 1972.
  94. For further information on the Daingean Reformatory School, see McLaughlin, K (1987) The History of Irish Reformatory Schools, 1858-1970. Unpublished Msc in Education, School of Education, Trinity College Dublin.
  95. As Osborough has noted, this site ‘ was close to the very place where Walter Crofton planned to establish the first reformatory school in Ireland in the late 1850s’. Osborough, N (1974) ‘The Penal System in Ireland – 2’. Irish Times, 3rd January p 12.
  96. The origins of the School lay in the early 1940s, when the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, wrote to the Department of Education seeking to establish a reformatory school to ‘receive girls under 17 who either (1) are convicted of legal sexual offences or (2) are placed in dangerous surroundings and have marked tendencies towards sexual immorality’. The Department noted that it was possible to place girls in either category in Industrial Schools, provided they were less than 15 years of age. However, for those aged between 15 and 17, committal to a reformatory school was only possible if the girl had been convicted for soliciting keeping a brothel, procuring for a prostitute, and being a reputed prostitute and loitering in a public place for the purpose of prostitution. However, the number of girls convicted for those offences was small. Based on figures supplied by the Department of Justice, the Department of Education noted that over 80 girls were defiled annually. The Department of Education classified such girls into three categories. ‘(1) girls who live in surroundings which could not be considered as bad; (2) girls who live in surroundings which conduce to their downfall; and (3) girls who might be described as prostitutes.’ The Department was of the view that girls in categories 2 and 3 were in need of committal to a suitable institution, but rarely were so placed. Up to the early 1940s, the primary method of dealing with young girls, either convicted of a sexual offence, or deemed to be sexually aware, was to place them in the only Girl’s Reformatory, St Joseph’s in Limerick, run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. However, in a number of cases, the manager of the school, believing that such girls were not amendable to reformation, placed them in one of the Magdalene Homes run by the same Congregation. From the early 1940s, the Good Shepherd nuns started to refuse to accept any girl believed to be tainted with sexual immorality. The main reason behind this decision was to force the Department of Education to provide them with funding for a second reformatory school, which would cater exclusively for such girls. However, when the Department of Education decided to establish such a school, it was the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Refuge who were entrusted with the management. This new school was the St Anne’s Reformatory school for girls, which although established in the mid-1940s, was only legislated for in 1949, under the Children (Amendment) Act 1949.
  97. Cuan Mhuire was owned by the Irish Federation of the Sisters of Charity of our Lady of Refuge. The building was originally constructed as a group home in 1997 and ceased that function in 1982.
  98. For further information on the legal status of these schools and the categories of children that were eligible for admittance, see Ring, ME (1991) ‘Custodial Treatment for Young Offenders’. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 1, 1, pp 59-67.
  99. In March 2008, the Government approved the development of new national children detention facilities on the Oberstown campus. The Government decision was informed by the report of the expert group on children detention schools. The development will increase the accommodation capacity in the detention school service from 77 to 167 places and will be carried out in phases. There are already three detention schools on the site and the proposed development will involve the demolition of some existing buildings on site and the retention of others but will consist mainly of newly constructed facilities. After the design of the new facilities has been completed during 2009, a tendering process will be undertaken to progress the construction element of the project, the first phase of which is estimated for completion in 2012. This will provide 80 places to accommodate 16- and 17-year-old boys in order to remove this age group from St Patrick’s Institution and to facilitate the transfer of boys from the existing Oberstown boys school buildings. The second phase, which is envisaged for completion in 2014, will entail the demolition of the buildings currently housing Oberstown boy’s school and the long-term unit of Oberstown girl’s school, as well as several other buildings. This phase will also involve the construction of facilities for 57 young people. Some of the existing buildings, including Trinity House School, will be retained, providing a total of 167 places when both stages of the project are completed. Expert Group on Children Detention Schools (2007). Final Report. Dublin: Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
  100. O’Sullivan provides one of the few accounts of the understanding that children committed to an Industrial school (Letterfrack) had of the process that led to their committal. He argues that those he interviewed ‘repeatedly defined the location of their prosecution and committal as a court of law – the fact that it has held in a special building or a special room, on a different day or at a different time from the regular court sessions had no significance for them. Their interpretation had a stark reality: they had been apprehended by the police and had appeared in court; their committal had been the responsibility of the prosecuting police than of the Justice; they had been sentenced rather than committed; in short their interpretation was a reflection of the adult criminal process of the adult criminal process of apprehension, sentencing and incarceration.’ O’Sullivan, D (1977) ‘The Administrative Processing of Children in Care: Some Sociological Findings’. Administration, 25, 3, p 428.
  101. The category ‘Returned to parents or friends’ is a sum of the three categories ‘Returned to Parents or Friends’, ‘Returned to parents or guardians for employment’, and ‘Returned to parents or friends for further education’.
  102. For further details, see O’Brien, V (2002) ‘Relative Care: A Different Type of Foster Care’ in Kelly, G and Gilligan, R (eds) Implications for Practice in Issues in Foster Care: Policy, Practice and Research. London, Jessica Kingsley.
  103. For example, physical abuse did not exist as a reason for placement in care in 1978, however, for continuity children in the category ‘non-accidental injury to child’ (n=34) are included in the physical abuse category. Similarly, for 1979 the physical abuse figure represents a sum of the categories ‘confirmed non-accidental injury’ (N=37) and ‘suspected non-accidental injury’ (N=30).
  104. For 1978, parent unable to cope represents the sum of the categories ‘mother deserted, father unable to care’ (82); ‘unmarried mother, unable to care’ (389); ‘mother dead, father unable to care’ (36); ‘no family home’ (39); and ‘unsatisfactory home conditions’ (100). Physical illness/ disability in other family member is based upon the category ‘long-term illness of parent/guardian’ (93). Short term crisis represents the category ‘short-term illness of parent/guardian’ (189). For 1979, this same figure is a sum of the categories ‘single mother, unable to care’ (925); ‘parent deserted, remaining parent unable to care’ (341); ‘parent dead, remaining parent unable to care’ (198). Physical illness/ disability in other family member is based upon the category ‘long-term illness of parent/guardian’ (82). Parental disharmony is ‘martial breakdown’ (188) and ‘short term crisis’ represents the ‘short-term illness of parent/guardian’ (177). For 1980, ‘other’ includes ‘both parents dead’ (61); parent unable to cope is a sum of ‘unmarried mother unable to cope’ (1207); and ‘one parent family (other than unmarried mother) can’t cope’ (458). Parental disharmony once again represents ‘martial breakdown’ (320); and ‘short term crisis’ is based on ‘sudden family crisis’ (397). finally, in 1981, ‘other’ is ‘both parents dead’ (60); parental disharmony represents ‘marital disharmony’ (302); and short term crisis is ‘sudden family crisis’ (464).
  105. For 1978 the category ‘child abandoned/rejected’ is a sum of the categories ‘No parent or guardian’ (10) and ‘Abandoned or deserted’ (66).
  106. According to the 1979 report, all ‘children awaiting adoption’ (257) were apparently children of ‘single mothers’.
  107. Children recorded as under ‘supervision’ refer to cases where the Health board has been notified by parents of private fostering arrangements they have procured for their children (1978:2).
  108. Children recorded as ‘extra-marital’ in status presumably meant that either the mother or the father of the child was married, but not to one another.
  109. This was noted early on in the collection of health board data, but the level of data was to crude to allow for any explanation. See O’Higgins and Boyle (1988) State Care – Some Children’s Alternative: An Analysis of the Data from the Returns to the Department of Health, Child Care Division, 1982. Dublin: Economic and Social Research Institute. See also Richardson (1985) for an analysis of children in residential care in the Eastern Health Board area. Richardson (1985) Whose Children? An Analysis of Some Aspects of Child Care Policy in Ireland. Dublin: Family Studies Unit.
  110. These are residential care units for children whose behaviour cannot be adequately catered for in other residential care units and as a consequence, such units have extra staffing, education on site and access to specialist therapeutic services.
  111. These are secure residential care units for children aged between 12 and 17 who can be detained there under a court order for their own welfare and safety. The latest data available from the Children Act Advisory Board indicates that there are 25 places in special care units nationally (see: Social Information Systems (2008) Review of Special Care Applications. Dublin: CAAB.
  112. This figure excludes other forms of care such as pre-adoptive placements, at home under care orders, supported lodgings and other ad-hoc arrangements to facilitate the time series. The majority of these placements appear to be separated children seeking asylum.
  113. The published data on children in care includes information on such crucial issues as family type, length of stay in care or reason for admission to care but does not distinguish between residential care and other forms of care.
  114. Although the nomenclature foster care has been in use for a considerable period of time, it only gained legal currency with the publication of foster care regulations in 1995. SI No 260 of 1995. Child Care (Placement of Children in Foster Care) Regulations 1995. Until 1995, the correct term was boarded –out children. For example, starting in 1979, the term foster care rather than ‘Boarding-out’, is used by the Department of Health in compiling data on children in the care of the health boards. For further details, see Gilligan, R (1990) Foster Care for Children in Ireland Issues and Challenges. Dublin: Department of Social Studies and Hogan, R (2002) ‘Foster Care in Ireland’. Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 3, 1, pp 30-50.
  115. In 1995, the Irish National Teachers Organisation in a report on youthful offending recommended that ‘ A research unit on the provision of services for young offenders should be established: to compile data from all residential homes, to profile clients more extensively, to evaluate the effectiveness of current service, to provide information to policy formulators and decision makers at Government level. The research unit should be adequately resourced in order to carry out its functions effectively. The research unit should liaise with the social science departments of universities in establishing specific research projects in the various residential homes. Annual reports on the operation of the Juvenile Justice System should be published by the Department of Justice in conjunction with the Departments of Education and Health. INTO (1995) Youthful Offending – A Report. Dublin: INTO. p 87.
  116. Annual Report of the Committee Appointed to Monitor the Effectiveness of the Diversion programme for 2007 (2008) Dublin: National Juvenile Office. p 14.
  117. Data on the ages of those committed on conviction to prison and places of detention between 1995 and 2000 is not available.
  118. O’Donnell, I, O’Sullivan, E and Healy, D (2005) Crime and Punishment in Ireland 1922-2002: A Statistical Sourcebook. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration and Irish Prison Service (2008) Annual Report 2007. Dublin: Irish Prison Service.
  119. In a review of children in residential care in Europe in 1992, Ireland, along with Sweden, England, Wales and Scotland were described as making comparatively high use of foster care. Madge, N (1994) Children and Residential Care in Europe. London: National Children’s Bureau. p 71. Hazel, in an earlier comparative study, highlighted that in Belgium, the majority of children in care were in residential care compared to the three other countries she surveyed, Sweden, England and Wales. Sweden had negligible numbers of children in residential care and for those in residential care, their stay was minimal. England and Wales operated a more balanced system with approximately 40 percent of children in need of alternative care in foster care. Hazel, N (1976) Child Placement Policy: Some European Comparisons. British Journal of Social Work, 6, 3, 315-26.
  120. In addition, as Buckley et al (2006) argue in relation to child care information in Ireland, ‘caution must necessarily be applied when reviewing statistical information. For example, when statistics indicate an increase in the take up of a certain service, it is clearly the case that what is being signified is as likely to be an increase in service provision for this particular issue as it is to be an increase in the particular problem for which the service is intended. False assumptions may exist concerning the consistency of criteria for counting certain data. Likewise, the data only illustrate activities that are taking place with children and families who are in contact with services, therefore does not indicate the level of unmet need in the population and the degree to which services are reaching or are accessible to vulnerable sectors. Buckely, H, Giller, H and B Brierley, M (2006) ‘The Formation of Information in Child Care: Herding Cats or Counting Sheep’. Administration, 54, 1, 72-87.
  121. Friis, H (1965) Development of Social Research in Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration. This report resulted in the Economic Research Institute, established in 1959, expanding its brief to include social research and becoming known as the Economic and Social Research Institute. The Institute was subsequently to publish two significant reports on children in care. See, O’Higgins, K and Boyle, K (1988) State Care: Some Children’s Alternatives. Dublin: Economic and Social Research Institute and O’Higgins, K (1993) Family Problems – Substitute Care: Children in Care and their Families. Dublin: Economic and Social Research Institute.
  122. Department of Education (1965) Investment in Education: Annexes and Appendices. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 32.
  123. Ibid. p 33.
  124. Fine Gael (1965) Towards a Just Society. Dublin: Dorset Press. pp 25-6.
  125. Department of Health (1966) ‘The Health Services and their Further Development’. Dublin: Stationery Office.
  126. Chaired by John Charles McQuaid, the commission examined the issue of juvenile delinquency. The Commission noted that young persons found guilty of a criminal offence and committed to Industrial schools formed only a small proportion of those committed and that ‘mostly they are destitute or neglected children who are sent to the Industrial Schools for their own protection.’ The Commission went on to argue, ‘What these children really need is a home, a want which no institution can effectively supply. Family life being the ideal life for the young, we recommend that, in cases in which it is found desirable to remove juveniles from their existing environment, consideration should be given to the possibilities of boarding out as an alternative to continued detention in the Industrial School, cases being reviewed periodically to determine suitability for boarding out. We further recommend that in connection with boarding out, opportunities for training in agricultural and non-agricultural work be considered. An essential in any boarding out scheme would be an adequate system of inspection. For those for whom it is necessary to provide institutional treatment in Reformatory or Industrial Schools we recommend that, with a view to making up for the lack of family atmosphere, these institutions be re-organised on a small unit basis and that women be included on the staff of institutions catering for boys.’ Commission on Youth Unemployment (1951) Report. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 40.
  127. Established in early 1957 at the request of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Robert Briscoe, TD, following a meeting on 4th December 1956 organised by the Streets Committee of Dublin Corporation where groups concerned ‘at the increase in vandalism and misconduct among juveniles in the City’ were invited to attend. Chaired by DA Hegarty of the Civics Institute of Ireland, it included representatives from the Catholic Social Welfare Bureau, the Irish National Teachers Organisation, the Legion of Mary and the Society of St Vincent de Paul amongst others. In their report the Committee outlined ‘an expert with long experience of work, expressed the opinion to us that our system of Institutions for juveniles is in certain respects not keeping with modern practices. We do not feel competent to express an authoritative judgment on this assessment, but we do consider that grounds have been put forward to suggest the need for a review of the system. We desire to make it clear, however, that any criticisms expressed refer only to the system and not to the people who have to operate it, many of whom are engaged on work requiring considerable self-sacrifice and which would only be undertaken by dedicated men and women.’ The Report then went on to highlight a number of areas, which they believed required changes. They included: ‘Institutions too large: Our Industrial Schools and Reformatories are Institutions in which the boys are far removed from any family atmosphere. They are thus deprived of one of the most important influences in the shaping of character – in the preparation for life and in the provision of that sense of security which psychologists attach so much importance. Other countries have endeavoured to provide for this by breaking these Institutions down into ‘large family’ size units. This has happened to a very limited extent in this Country. Segregation: Children are committed to Industrial Schools for widely different reasons. Some of these children are merely unfortunate and innocent of any misdemeanour, i.e. the family is destitute, the children have been grossly neglected by their parents, or they have none. On the other hand, children are sent to Industrial Schools when they may have committed a comparatively serious offence – only a small proportion are sent to reformatories. These different types of boys present different problems and there appears to be a case for segregating them into special schools after they have spent a period in a grading centre. This would also reveal the mentally defective or subnormal children who should be sent to special institutions. Short Term Schools: Under the present system, boys are generally committed for a long period, but serious consideration should be given to the establishment of properly organised short term schools (also properly segregated) where boys could be sent from three to six months as a measure of correction. In these schools the truant, the boy who has gone beyond control, or the minor delinquent, might learn his lesson and acquire a sense of discipline making it possible for him to return to his home for a normal family upbringing.’
  128. Cowen, P (1960) ‘Dungeons Deep: A monopgraph on prisons, bortstals, reformatories and industrial schools in the Republic of Ireland, and some reflections on crime and punishment and matters relating thereto’. Dublin: Marion Printing.
  129. This Committee received its warrant of appointment from the then Minister for Justice, Mr Haughey, TD. The Committee was chaired by Mr Peter Berry, Secretary of the Department of Justice and had representation from the Departments of Health, Education and Industry and Commerce. The terms of reference of the Committee were to ‘inquire into the present methods for the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders, giving attention, in particular, to the following matters: (a) juvenile delinquency (b) the probation system (c) the institutional treatment of offenders and their after-care, and to recommend such changes in the law and practice as the Committee considers desirable and practicable. It recommended for example that: ‘The term industrial school should be abolished; Larger state grants should be made to industrial schools; A visiting committee should be appointed for every industrial school and in appropriate cases after-care committees should be set up as well; The industrial schools should be inspected more frequently than is at present and to enable this to be done an additional inspector should be appointed in the Industrial and Reformatory Schools Branch of the Department of Education; To ensure that adequate, proper bedding, clothing, footwear etc. is issued to the inmates of industrial schools, the scale of issue – showing minimum standards – should be prescribed by regulations; Adequate financial provision should be made for carrying out of essential maintenance and repair work and for the supply of proper recreational, ablutionary etc facilities at industrial schools; A matron / Nurse should be appointed to the staffs of all industrial schools for boys and similar institutions; Generally speaking, boys from urban centres should not be set to serve lengthy sentences in an industrial school in a rural environment.’
  130. London Branch Study Group (1966) Some of Our Children: A Report on the Residential Care of the Deprived Child in Ireland. Tuairim Pamphlet No 13. Tuairim (the word means opinion in Irish) was established in 1954 to provide an impartial discussion of ideas and policies. Describing itself as an association of people who are interested in ideas and are not afraid of discussing them and learning the other man’s point of view, it published 18 pamphlets between the 1950s and early 1970s on a host of diverse topics, ranging from the Irish Fish Industry, to Ireland and the United Nations, to Irish education policy. It appears to have become defunct in the early 1970s. For further details on Tuairim, see Hederman, M (2008) ‘The Tuairim Phenomenon – A Forum for Challenge in 1950s Ireland’ in Thornley, I (ed) Unquiet Spirit: Essays in Memory of David Thornley. Dublin: Liberties Press. One of the members of the Tuairim branch that produced the report on residential care was Peter Tyrrell. Tyrell, originally from East Galway, was sent to the Letterfrack Industrial School in 1924. Tyrell, who died in 1967 having deliberately set fire to himself, had written an account of his time in Letterfrack, but his account of the School only came to light when historian Dairymaid Whelan found the manuscript in the papers of Dr Owen Sheehy Skeffington. The manuscript was published in 2006 (see Tyrell, P (2006) ‘Founded on Fear’: Letterfrack Industrial School, War and Exile. Dublin: Irish Academic Press and Whelan, D (2006) ‘Peter Tyrrell’s Account of Letterfrack, war and Exile’. Saothar – Journal of the Irish Labour History Society, 31, 111-8). In addition to publishing the pamphlet on residential care, Mr James O’Connor, a Dublin solicitor, read a paper on juvenile delinquency to a meeting of Tuairim on Friday 6th March 1959 and a revised version of that paper was published in the Jesuit journal Studies in 1963. In that paper O’Connor argued that: ‘The system of institutional treatment in Ireland has serious defects and the courts, left with no alternative, imposes it with reluctance. None of our schools are graded, and boys are committed there indiscriminately without regard to their background, medical history, antecedents or suitability for the training which they are to receive. The atmosphere is somewhat unreal, particularly in regard to lack of contact with the opposite sex and this unnatural situation frequently leads to a degree of sexual maladjustment in the inmates. The numbers in these institutions are very large and are comprised of cases, which limits, if it does not render impossible, individual attention being given to boys who may be in need of special treatment. Discipline is rigid and severe, approaching at times pure regimentation, with the result that the inmates are denied the opportunity of developing friendly and spontaneous characters; their impulses become suffocated, and when they are suddenly liberated their reactions are often violent and irresponsible’. O’Connor, J (1963) ‘The Juvenile Offender’, Studies, lii, 1,.80-81.
  131. The rationale by Tuairim for selecting the Department of Health was: ‘the Department of Health already runs a number of residential schools and Homes; it supervises boarding out of deprived children and places children in certified schools and Homes under Section 55 of the Health Act, 1953; it has a basis on which local services could be built and local health authorities employ public health nurses; the provision of substitute homes for children deprived of their natural home and the ensuring of their mental and physical health is primarily the province of a health authority; the Department of Health has considerable experience of organising and administering new services in recent years.’
  132. London Branch Study Group (1966) Some of Our Children: A Report on the Residential care of the Deprived Child in Ireland. Tuairim Pamphlet No 13, p 33.
  133. The ‘jibe’ referred to was in relation to the absence of training courses for welfare workers and child care workers in Ireland which, it was argued that ‘One of the results of this is a complete lack of understanding of the problems and needs of the deprived children. Provided he is physically healthy, well clothed, obedient and can speak Irish, officialdom is satisfied’. pp 14-15.
  134. These posts arose from concern with the system of private fosterage or ‘baby farming’ for children, which resulted in the passing of the Infant Life Protection Act 1872, which allowed the officers of the Local Government to inspect homes that were fostering or ‘nursing’ more than one child. Children in private fosterage, or ‘Nurse Children’, were placed in foster homes by their own relatives – often-unmarried mothers – or by philanthropic societies or other persons who paid for them. They were not supported out of the poor rate or any public fund. In March 1902, The Lord Commissioners of His Majesty’s Treasury sanctioned the employment of a lady as an inspector, and the appointment of a second lady inspector in November 1902. The duties of these inspectors were principally connected with the boarding-out and hiring out of pauper children; but they also reported upon the administration of the Infant Life Protection Act 1897.The two inspectors appointed, Mrs Dickie and Miss Kenny-Fitzgerald, were the first women to hold senior posts in the civil service in Ireland. Daly, ME (1997) The Buffer State. The Historical Roots of the Department of the Environment. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, p 34. The post of Inspector of Boarded-out Children was ‘confined to women because of their superior knowledge of matters relating to the health and up bringing of children’. NA S9880.
  135. Ms Fidelma Clandillon was appointed to the newly formed Department of Health as an Inspector of boarded-out children in 1948, covering all counties south of a line from Dublin to Galway. From the early 1970s her post was reorganised as Social Work Advisor in Child Care, she retired in 1980. Following the retirement of Miss Murray in 1970, she had responsibility for boarded-out children in Ireland. For further details, see McCabe, A (2003) The Inspection of Boarded Out Children in Ireland – The Legacy of Fidelma Clandillon. Irish Social Worker, 21, 1-2, pp 22-6.
  136. Department of Health and Children. RM/INA/0/489385.
  137. Commission of Inquiry on Mental Illness (1966) Report. Dublin: Stationery Office, p 74.
  138. Viney, M (1966) ‘The Young Offenders’. Irish Times, 25th April. Viney wrote eight articles on aspects of the juvenile justice system in 1966. They were ‘The Trouble with Larry’ (27th April); ‘Patterns of Crime’ (28th April); ‘The Caution Man’ (29th April); ‘What Price Probation’ (2nd May); ‘The Hidden Motives’ (3rd May); ‘The Dismal World of Daingean’ (4th May); ‘Children at Risk’ (May 5th) and ‘’The Young Offenders’ (6th May).
  139. The memo was signed by Fr William McGonagle, OMI (Chairman and Manager of the Daingean Reformatory) and Br FA O’Reilly (Hon Secretary and Manager of the Artane Industrial School) on behalf of the Association.
  140. In an interview given on 30th April 2002, Mr Mac Conchradha stated that prior to moving to the Department of Justice in the early 1960s, he had worked in the Department of Education for 15 years and claimed that his appointment to the Committee of Enquiry into Reformatory and Industrial Schools’ Systems was not welcomed in the Department of Education as ‘I was a poacher turned gamekeeper. I knew the way they operated. I knew what a backwater the reformatory and industrial school sector was...They [Education] didn’t want it. By and large the people placed in that section wouldn’t have been placed anywhere else’. Keating, A (2002) Secrets and Lies: An Exploration of the Role of Identity, Culture and Communication in the Policy Process Relating to the provision of Protection and Care for Vulnerable Children in the Irish Free State and Republic 1923-1974. Unpublished PhD Thesis, School of Communications, Dublin City University
  141. The terms of reference were (1) to investigate the probation and after-care service at first hand, (2) to report on the improvements that might be feasible and necessary, (3) to implement those recommendations that might be approved and (4) for the duration of the assignment to carry out the duties of the probation administration officer. Mac Conchradha, R (1969) Report on an Assignment to Investigate the probation and After-Care Service and to submit recommendations for Consideration. (Edited and Furnished to the Department of Finance). p 1.
  142. Ibid. p 7.
  143. Ibid. p 7.
  144. Ibid. p 8.
  145. Ibid. p 9.
  146. The Joint Committee was established in 1937 with the objectives of working ‘together in matters of mutual interest affecting women, young persons and children and to study social legislation and recommend necessary reforms’. It comprised of approximately 17 organisations including the Institute of Almoners, the Irish Countrywomen’s Association, the Mothers Union and the Soroptimists. The Joint Committee campaigned on a range of issues and had a particular interest in children in care. Only a few short years after their establishment, the Joint Committee published a detailed ‘Memorandum on Children in Institutions, Boarded out and Nurse Children.’ In the memorandum they argued inter alia that foster care had many advantages over institutional care for children; that all institutions for children, both public and private, should be subject to regular inspection; that legal adoption was urgently required; that foster care allowances were inadequate and that children’s officers be appointed to inspect foster children. In relation to residential care, the memorandum recommended: ‘that all orphanages, institutions and industrial schools should be subject to frequent inspections.’ The issue of inspection was a continuous demand from the Committee over the decades. For example, in 1963, the Committee wrote to the Minister for Education asking him to consider the ‘setting up of a visiting committee such as those operating in other institutions’. In 1967 the Committee sent a further memorandum to the then Minister for Education, Donagh O’Malley arguing that ‘over the years the Joint Committee has insisted that children should seldom be removed from a family and placed in an institution and that instead, every assistance should be given to maintain the family intact either by financial help or long term supervision by qualified social workers’ Joint Committee of Women’s Societies and Social Workers (1967) Children in Care or Children’s Institutions. Dublin. For further details on the work of the Committee, see Skehill, C (1999) The Nature of Social Work in Ireland. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellon Press and Skehill, C (2004) History of the Present of Child Protection and Welfare Social Work in Ireland. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellon Press.
  147. Irish Times, 24th June 1970.
  148. All correspondence between O’Rourke, Clandillon and Murray is contained in the Clandillon papers, file no RM/INA/0/489385 held by the Department of Health and Children.
  149. Mary E Murray was appointed in 1946 as Inspector of Boarded out children and retired in 1970. She had responsibility for such children in Dublin and all the counties north of a line between Dublin and Galway. See McCabe, A (2000) The Inspection of Boarded-out Children 1897-2000 and its Impact on Child Care Standards. A Dissertation submitted to the National University of Ireland, Dublin in part fulfilment of the degree of Master of Social Science (Social Work).
  150. Reply from Ms Murray and Ms Clandillon to Minute from Mr O’Rourke to Miss Murray and Miss Clandillon 23/10/68 re: review of child care services.
  151. Clandillon provided her report on Offaly as an example. The report showed that the vast majority were transferred from the county home or mother and baby homes such as the Manor House Castlepollard. Clandillon described these returns as ‘appalling’ stating ‘the ‘reasons for admission’ reveal a complete indifference to the fate of deprived children. Obviously no effort whatsoever is made to find homes or adoptive parents for them’. She noted that in Counties Laois and Offaly that there were 146 children in institutions and the ‘vast majority of whom appear to be sent automatically’ and that ‘the present state of affairs should not be allowed to continue’.
  152. Section 47(3) of the Public Assistance Act 1939 allowed for (a) an inspector appointed by the Minister may at any time visit and inspect such school and make such examination of the condition and management of such school and the state and treatment of the children therein as he shall consider requisite; (b) whenever an inspector visits and inspects such school under the next preceding paragraph of this sub-section, he shall report to the Minister the result of such visit and inspection and of any examination made by him in the course thereof; (c) any public assistance authority which has sent a child to such school may, at any time while such child is in such school, appoint a suitable person to visit such school, and such person may visit and inspect such school accordingly; (d) the managers of such school shall permit and give facilities for every such visitation, inspection, and examination as is authorised by any of the foregoing paragraphs of this sub-section. The Health Act 1953, repealed this section. In a memo dated 18th January 1963, both Murray and Clandillon highlighted this situation and recommended that ‘the right of visiting such children be restored. There is no question of inspecting the school or of examining the conditions or management, which may be considered to be a function of the Dept. of Education, but simply of visiting the children with a view to having as many as possible placed in foster homes’.
  153. ‘Where a child is placed in a school in pursuance of Section 55, the arrangements between the health authorities and the Manager of the School should include provision that the child may be visited at any reasonable time by an authorised officer of the health authority or of the Minister’.
  154. She also argued ‘at least 80 percent of the membership of the Commission should be professional social workers who are already working in various fields where children and their families are involved. A great deal of time and energy is wasted if members have not got first hand knowledge of the matters to be studied. There should be a professional social worker from the Family Welfare Bureau, of the Catholic Social Welfare Bureau, which provides training in family casework for social science graduates during their professional training. There should also be professional workers from the probation service and also housing welfare officers. The ISPCC should be represented by one of their qualified social workers, and the Civics Institute, which does valuable work in caring for the young children of working mothers in their day nurseries or crèches, should also be represented’.
  155. Circular 23/70 15th July 1970 Children in Care of Health Authorities. Department of Health.
  156. Irish Times, 22nd April 1969. The memo was prepared by Mr John B Jermyn, Mr Patrick Noonan and Mr William A Osborne.
  157. Memo for Government: Proposed committee for Reformatory and Industrial schools. NA D/T 98/6/156 Children – General.
  158. Letter from O’Malley to Lynch 19/1/67. NA D/T 98/6/156 Children-General.
  159. D/T 98/6/156 Children – General.
  160. NA D/T 98/6/156 Children – General.
  161. NA D/T 98/6/156 Children – General.
  162. McCabe wrote again on 9th July 1967 thanking O’Malley for his letter of the 3rd July and stating ‘I should be glad to prepare a confidential memorandum for you, if you could let me know the particular aspects of the problem that interest you particularly’.
  163. D/T 98/6/156 Children – General.
  164. NA D/T 98/6/156 Children – General.
  165. Born in 1914, Ms Kennedy, who initially trained as nurse, was appointed a Justice of the District Court and Justice of the Metropolitan Children’s Court in 1964: the first women to be appointed as a District Justice in Ireland.
  166. NA D/T 98/6/156 Children – General.
  167. Early, in commenting on the composition of the committee observed that the ‘membership was unusual in many ways. Three of the members were women including the Chairman; three were Civil Servants of whom only one was an administrator; two were clerics. Four members of the committee had little or no practical experience of dealing with deprived children and in particular children in residential care. Three of these members were actively involved with the Junior Chamber of Commerce who were pressing for changes in the system.’ He also commented that ‘As with most committees which sit for a long time the interest of some members waned. At the end of the period the active members had been reduced to less than half of the total.’ Early, B (1974) ‘The Kennedy Committee and Its Work’. CARE Newsletter, 1, 2, 2-3.
  168. Irish Times, 21st October 1967.
  169. Reformatory and Industrial Schools Systems (1970) Report. Dublin: Stationery Report. pp 23-5.
  170. Brennan, PD (1994) ‘Ireland: Changes and New Trends in Extrafamilial care in the last Two Decades’ in Gottesman, M (ed) Recent Changes and New Trends in Extrafamilial Child Care: An International Perspective. London: Whiting and Birch. pp 91-2.
  171. Ibid. p 92.
  172. O’Sullivan, D (1979) ‘Social Definition in Child Care in the Irish Republic: Models of Child and Child Care Intervention’. Economic and Social Review, 10, 3, p 211.
  173. Report on Industrial Schools and Reformatories (The Kennedy Report) (1970). Dublin: The Stationery Office p v.
  174. O’Sullivan, D (1979) ‘Social Definition in Child Care in the Irish Republic: Models of Child and Child Care Intervention’. Economic and Social Review, Vol 10, No 3, p 215.
  175. Faulkner, P (2005) As I Saw It: Reviewing Over 30 Years of Fianna Fail and Irish Politics. Dublin: Wolfhound Press. p 68.
  176. Ibid. pp 70-1.
  177. In a review of Social Work Services in 1985, it was noted ‘Both the Health Act, 1953 and the Children (Amendment) Act, 1957 (which extended the powers of the Children Act, 1908) made specific provision for certain child welfare services. The 1953 Act and regulations made under it provided for the boarding out of children in certain circumstances. Regulations under the 1957 Act related to the discharge of children from residential care. These provisions led to the appointment in 1959 of twelve children’s officers throughout the country (Donegal, Mayo, Kerry, Cork, Carlow / Kildare, Cavan, Galway, Wexford, Limerick, Tipperary and two in Dublin). In addition to their duties under the legislation, these officers gave assistance to unmarried mothers and ensured that no child was admitted to residential care who could be boarded out or adopted. These children’s’ officers, who reported to assistant county managers, were not, initially, social workers. They were, for the most part, nurses. In 1959, Galway Health Authority was the only agency to appoint a social worker for this work.’ The Report noted that while the Health Act 1970, which established the regional health boards, did not make any specific provision for social work, the establishment of community care teams ensured the provision of a minimum level of social service provision in the community. On 19th January 1973, the Department of Health issued guidelines on to the regional health boards on the development of social work within the community care services. In terms of priorities, the memo stated, ‘the existing statutory requirements in relation to the provision of services for deprived children must be given the highest priority. Where a trained social worker is employed on this work its discharge is normally most effective; where the work is at present being undertaken by officers whose primary training has not been in the social work field the appointment of a trained social worker would facilitate a professional review of such service’. The memo also noted ‘currently the Department has an Inspector who advises on child care work and three temporary Social Work Advisors who are seconded from health boards.’
  178. Skehill highlighted that certain difficulties existed in relation to the role of social workers in this new administrative configuration and to the nature of the social work task itself, observing that ‘social work as a strategy did not even feature in the draft proposals for the newly structured health boards in 1970 (McKinsey Consultants, 1970). Moreover, evidence on social work developments and practices between 1970 and 1991 suggests that the profession was fraught with dispute and confusion over whether social workers should be experts in child protection or generic practitioners over this time period.’ Skehill, C (2003) ‘Social Work in the Republic of Ireland: A History of the Present’. Journal of Social Work, 3, 2, p 149.
  179. NESC (1987) Community Care Services: An Overview. Dublin: National Economic and Social Council.
  180. A National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) was established in London in 1889 and a Dublin branch established in the same year. By the 1930s, more than 30 such branches were established in Ireland. In 1956, the Irish branches of the NSPCC split forming an Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. See Ferguson, H (1996) Protecting Irish Children in Time: Child Abuse as a Social Problem and the Development of the Child Protection System in Ireland. Administration, Vol 44, No 2, pp 5-36.
  181. Gilligan, R (1993) ‘Ireland’ in Colton, MJ and Hellinckx (eds) Child Care in the EC: A country-specific guide to foster and residential care. Aldershot: Arena, pp 121-2. See also Ferguson, H (1996) ‘Protecting Irish Children in Time: Child Abuse as a Social Problem and the Development of the Child Protection System in Ireland’. Administration, Vol 44, No 2, pp 5-36, for a similar analysis of the growth of statutory social work in Ireland. The number of social work staff employed by the Eastern Health Board in childcare work rose from 13 in 1973 to 287 in 1998. McQuillan, P (1977) ‘Family Support in Ireland’ in: CARE, Planning for Our Children. The Report of a Care Conference. Dublin: CARE. p 39. On the development of social work and social work training in Ireland see Kearney, N (1987) ‘The Historical Background’ in Social Work and Social Work Training in Ireland: Yesterday and Tomorrow. Department of Social Studies, Occasional Paper No 1. Dublin: Department of Social Studies; Darling, V (1972) ‘Social Work in the Republic of Ireland’. Social Studies, 1, 1, 24-37 and Luddy, M (2005) Women, Philanthropy and the Emergence of Social Work in Ireland. Dublin: School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin.
  182. The validity of using this mechanism was the subject of the parliamentary question and the note the Minister was as follows: A ‘Fit Person’ Order is an order, made by a court of competent jurisdiction, for the committal of a child or young person to the care of a relative of the child or young person, or to the care of some other fit person named by the Court, such person being willing to undertake such care. According to section 38 of the 1908 Act, the expression ‘fit person’ in this context includes ‘any society or body corporate established for the reception or protection of poor children or the prevention of cruelty to children’. This section does not however, provide an exhaustive definition of a fit person and ‘some other person (section 21) other than a relative, society or body corporate may be regarded by the Court as a fit person. Health Boards, established under the Health Act 1970 are bodies corporate. However, they are not established solely for ‘the reception or protection of poor children or the prevention of cruelty to children’. Moreover, although section 38 of the Children Act, 1908 appears in Part II of the Act, the functions of a Health Board (as specified in section 6 of the Health Act, 1970) do not extend beyond Part I of the Children Act. Notwithstanding the above position, the Departments former legal advisor was of the opinion that a health board can act as ‘fit person’ as defined in the Children Act, 1908. A similar opinion was given by Mr Peter Shanley in his capacity as legal advisor to the Task Force on Child Care Services. In practice, health boards are named as fit persons, but as the legal validity of this situation has never been tested, the position remains in some doubt. Doubts expressed as to the validity of ‘Fit Person’ orders are usually based on the question of the legality or otherwise of health boards acting as ‘fit persons’ as described above. The Department is not aware that the constitutional validity of the procedure has come into doubt publicly although the Department of Education in 1976 suggested that, without a right of appeal, the exercise of ‘fit person’ rights by a health board could be challenged on constitutional grounds. The suggestion arose from the fact that the 1957 Amendment of the Children Act, 1908 gave parents a right of appeal in the event of a refusal by the Minister for Education to accede to request by them for discharge of a committal order. This provision was made in legislation because an earlier High Court case had questioned the adequacy of the Children Acts as they stood to afford due constitutional protection to parental rights. Note for Minister PQ Children Act, 1908 28.06 .78 –Children Act, 1908 – Health Boards as Fit Persons C1.04 .02.
  183. However, it was found in 1989 by the Supreme Court in the case of The State (D and D) v G and the Midland Health Board that health boards were in fact not ‘fit persons’ under the Children Act, 1908. This judgment necessitated the introduction of emergency legislation to remedy the situation. The Children Act 1989 provided that ‘the expression fit person in section 38 of the Children Act, 1908, includes and shall be deemed always to have included a Health Board established under the Health Act, 1970, and the functions of a Health Board shall include and be deemed always to have included the functions conferred on a fit person by the first mentioned act as amended by any subsequent Act’.
  184. Gilligan, R (1993) ‘Ireland’ in Colton, MJ and Hellinckx (eds) Child Care in the EC: A country-specific guide to foster and residential care. Aldershot: Arena, pp 121-2. See also Ferguson, H (1996) ‘Protecting Irish Children in Time: Child Abuse as a Social Problem and the Development of the Child Protection System in Ireland’. Administration, 44, 2, pp 5-36, for a similar analysis of the growth of statutory social work in Ireland.
  185. Somewhat ironically, the first substantial criticism of the Report were directed against the Chairperson of the Committee, District Justice Eileen Kennedy, when Nell McCafferty highlighted in a series of articles in the Irish Times the gap between the rhetoric of the report and the day-to-day reality of the Children’s Court in Dublin, presided over by Eileen Kennedy. See, McCafferty, N (1970) ‘Children in Court -1: Notes on Reality’. Irish Times, 9th December 1970, more generally, see McCafferty, N (1981) In the Eyes of the Law. Dublin: Ward River Press. pp 74-93. Dr Ian Hart, later to become a member of CARE and the Task Force on Child Care Services, provided this description of the Children’s Court in Dublin in the Early 1970s. ‘...the Dublin Metropolitan Children’s Court, it must be plainly said that the court building was generally unsatisfactory. There was no proper waiting room, only a dirty room with a couple of benches. There was no consultation room for lawyers and the cell was dark and windowless. The child had to stand for the duration of his trial even though there were usually vacant benches. Gardaí had a habit of mumbling their evidence to the justice and the author often had great difficulty in hearing what they said. Cases were listed for only two times during the day, i.e. for the morning or afternoon session. Consequently, those involved in a case might have to waste a full morning or afternoon if the case was not called. There was a long delay in hearing appeals against sentences, often of the order of four to six months. Basically, the main defect was that the justice who worked about a four and a half day hearing cases, five days a week, had to deal with about 15,000 cases in a year (16,586 in 1970. The justice thus had to deal with perhaps 5,000 children in the course of one year.’ Hart, I (1974) Factors Relating to Reconviction among Young Dublin Probationers. Dublin: Economic and Social Research Institute. Paper No 76. p 67. On 14th January 1974, the Editor of the Evening Herald wrote to the Minister for Justice in relation to the Children’s Court, which he described as ‘a sad affair – mumbled evidence, poor representation and every sign of conveyor belt justice’. He continued that ‘I have been there and really it does little to even grapple with the clear result of every case – that the defendant will be back again...a more humane approach, plus rehabilitation is needed in the Children’s Court...I had a feeling that the free legal aid in the Children’s Court was of poor quality’ (D/Taoiseach 2005-7-21. Trial of Children). The Children’s Court remains the subject of considerable criticism in recent times. Kilkelly, in 2003 and 2004 aimed to evaluate the extent to which the Children Courts operate in line with national and international standards. She concluded, ‘Apart from the problems of delay and general inefficiency, the Court does not fare well when measured against international standards. Although the Children Act 2001 attempts to distinguish the Children Court from its adult counterpart the fact that its provisions are inadequately implemented in practice means that, at best, the process is slow and inefficient and, at worst, it is failing to minimize the negative impact for a young person of an appearance in court, contrary to the Act’s objectives. The Children Act 2001‘s provisions deal more with the administration of the court list than the administration of justice and, taken on their own, they fall short of prescribing how the Court is to be transformed into a specialist tribunal in which young people have the right to age-appropriate treatment, to have their privacy respected, and to understand and participate in their criminal proceedings as required by international standards. To a large extent, the Children Court continues to operate like an adult District Court and inadequate attention has been given to how to transform the court into a specialized forum for dealing in an age appropriate manner with young defendants. Nor is sufficient importance attached to the rights of young offenders – their right to a fair and expeditious hearing in the presence of their parents, and their right to be heard and to understand the proceedings that have such a dramatic effect on their lives. Inadequate efforts have been made to ensure that the young people before the Children Court are dealt with in a manner that takes account of not just their age, but also their maturity and intellectual and emotional capacities.’ Kilkelly, U (2008) ‘Youth Courts and Children’s Rights: The Irish Experience’. Youth Justice, 8,1, p 53. See also McPhillips, S (2005) Dublin Children Court: A Pilot Research Project. Dublin: Irish Association for the Study of Delinquency.
  186. Skehill estimates that by 1970, less than 100 social workers were employed in Ireland, and most of them were working in hospitals. In relation to training, she notes ‘UCD was the first to establish a social science degree in 1954. TCD introduced its degree in social studies in 1962, and UCC established a social science degree course in 1968. Course curricula for this period shows that teaching of social work theories only became an essential component of teaching from the late 1960s onward. In UCD, for example, Fr Kavanagh’s (1954) Manual of Social Ethics, based on Catholic and Christian principles, remained on reading lists up to the 1970s. Thus, whereas in Britain, social workers were becoming an established part of the growing welfare state and were being employed as child care officers, probation officers, almoners, and so on, Irish social work was struggling to establish itself as a profession, gain recognition from other professions, and find occupational spaces within which it could expand and develop.’ Skehill, C (2000) ‘An Examination of the Transition from Philanthropy to Professional Social Work in Ireland’. Research on Social Work Practice, 10, 6, p 698.
  187. Comhairle was established in 1942 as a sub-committee of the City of Dublin Vocational Educational Committee and renamed The City of Dublin Youth Service Board in 1995.
  188. ‘Children other than Roman Catholics who come before the Courts are entrusted through the local Gardaí to the charge of the local Pastor of their own denomination who sees to it that they are placed in the care of suitable families or School.’
  189. A Committee of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
  190. Sr Winifred (1971) ‘Current Trends in Residential Child Care’ in Child Care – Papers of a Seminar held by the Council for Social Welfare. Dublin: Council for Social Welfare. p 11.
  191. Kennedy, S (1971) ‘The Role of the Religious in Child Care’ in Child Care – Papers of a Seminar held by the Council for Social Welfare. Dublin: Council for Social Welfare. p 22.
  192. O’Gormain, A (1971) ‘Report on Industrial and Reformatory School Systems’ in Child Care – Papers of a Seminar held by the Council for Social Welfare. Dublin: Council for Social Welfare. p 62.
  193. The response of the Resident Mangers to the Kennedy Report was considerably more positive than their response to an earlier inquiry, chaired by Mr GP Cussen which sat between 1934 and 1936. This inquiry had terms of reference to ‘inquire into and report to the Minister for Education on the present Reformatory and Industrial School system in Saorstát Eireann, and matters connected therewith, including: (1) The existing statutory provisions and other regulations in relation to Reformatories, Industrial Schools and places of detention, and to the committal of children and young persons thereto. (2) The care, education and training of children and young persons in Reformatories and Industrial Schools, and their after-care and supervision when discharged from these institutions. (3) The treatment and or disposal of children committed to Industrial Schools who are found to be suffering from physical or mental defects. (4) The staffing of Reformatory and Industrial Schools, and the qualifications and conditions of service of the teachers employed therein. (5) The arrangements for defraying the expenses of these institutions.’ The Managers in a letter dated 8th May 1937, gave their response to the report which was published in September 1936, and outlined that ‘the Managers felt that an undeserved slur was cast on their work in some of their findings, due to the prejudice on the part of some member or members of the Commission. It is matter of serious moment that men and women who have given their lives and labour in the cause of the education of these poor and often-times wayward children amidst hardships, worries, inconveniences and misunderstandings; and all this time at considerable saving to the State, should be harshly judged and found fault with by members of a Commission appointed by the Beneficiary. The members of the Commission had no first hand experience of the work of the Industrial Schools and could not know what it entails. Even the notes of appreciation in the Report appear to have been grudgingly given. It is easy for Critics to tear a work to pieces but it is a different matter to re-construct.’
  194. The members of the Advisory Council were: Fr William McGonagle, OMI, Chairman, Dr Paul McQuaid, Mr Seamus O Cinneide, Fr Jim Clarke, Mr Joe Dillon, Mr Dermod J Cafferky, Br Leo Clancy, Sr Carmel, Sr Liguori, Sr Kevin, Sr Veronica, Sr Bernard, Sr Vincent, Sr Regina, Fr Vincent Kennedy, Br Stapleton and Miss Irene Diffy.
  195. These were Mr FJ Donohue, Senior Administrative Officer, Welfare Department; Dr Paul McCarthy, Chief Child Psychiatrist, Dublin Health Authority; Rev Sr Bernadette, Sister in Charge, St Patrick’s Home; Rev Sr Patricia, St Patrick’s Home; Mr PM Sheehan, Section Officer, Children’s Section; Mr MJ O’Connor, Secretary, St Louise Adoption Society; Misses K Neary and B Rutledge, Children’s Officers; Misses C Clyne, M Cox, E Lyng and S O’Reilly, Social Workers.
  196. The Department of Education also noted that they were in the process of opening a new school for young male offenders in North County Dublin. In a memo to the Minister, it outlined, ‘Work on a new Training School at Oberstown Balrothery, North County Dublin, began last April. It was planned following visits by officers of the Department, members of the Oblate Community, and the Department’s Architect to modern training schools in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is being built on a sixty-acre site, which has been purchased from the Oblate fathers. Oberstown will not be a new Daingean in a new setting. Qualified staff would cater for every need in the new Training School – educational, psychological and sociological. It will be staffed and administered on the most modern lines and will represent a completely new approach down to the last detail. Accommodation will be provided at Oberstown in 4 self-contained units for 70 boys in the age-range 12-17. The modern concept of the role and function of a reform school is that of rehabilitation of the young offender so that he may learn to take his place as a useful member of the community. This general programme of rehabilitation will consist of (a) a school programme to be implemented at times when schools normally operate (b) an educational programme based on recreational and extra curricular activities for out-of-school periods (evenings, weekends, holidays) and (c) a social-action programme including the provision of family counselling and after-care services. Such a programme is expected to function ideally in the unit system which will obtain in Oberstown, where separate recreational, refectory and sleeping accommodation and common educational facilities will be in operation. Oberstown will be designated a special school and as such will have generous pupil/teacher ratio.’
  197. O’Mahony, MV (1971) ‘Legal Aspects of Residential Child Care’. The Irish Jurist (ns). pp 227-8.
  198. Ibid. p 234.
  199. The Report of Public Services Organisation Review Group, better known as the Devlin Committee, after its chairman Mr Liam St J Devlin, was established in 1966 with the following terms of reference: ‘Having regard to the growing responsibilities of Government, to examine and report on the organisation of the Departments of State at the higher levels, including the appropriate distribution of functions as between both Departments themselves and Departments and other bodies ...’.The recommendation was that ‘An Bord Uchtala (Adoption Board) and functions related to the welfare of children generally should be transferred to the Department of Heath and Welfare’ (1969: 237).
  200. McCafferty, N (1971) ‘Remember the Kennedy Report?’ Irish Times, 12th November, p 6.
  201. On the history of St Patrick’s, see Osborough, WN (1975) Borstal in Ireland: Custodial Provision for the Young Adult Offender 1906-1974. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
  202. Originally called the ‘Group for the Advancement of Child Care’, CARE was established at the end of 1970 and was formally launched in early February 1971. The initial publicity for the organisation stated that: ‘The Group for the Advancement of Child Care is an independent, authoritative, single purpose body which has been founded to promote actively the welfare of deprived children in Ireland and to look for improvements in children’s services. Deprived children are children who, because of their family circumstances, or the environment in which they live, are deprived of their facilities, the care and the opportunities, which they need and are entitled to. The group was founded by, and is made up of, persons with expert knowledge and/or practical expertise of the problems of, and the services at present available for, deprived children. These founder members now comprise the Council of the Group...members of the Group act in an individual capacity; they do not represent organisations or special interests other than the common interest of the Group. The Group is unique in being concerned with the whole field of deprived children and in having no function other than a promotional or campaigning one.’ Of the founding two members, two had served as members of the Committee of Enquiry into Reformatory and Industrial Schools’ Systems and a further two were to become members of the Task Force on Child Care Services established in 1974. A Department of Education memo in the early 1980s stated that ‘Since the group got power into their hands through the Task Force they seem to have become comparatively quiet.’ CARE eventually disbanded in the mid-1990s.
  203. They were Seamus Ó Cinnéide, Paul McQuaid, Ian Hart, Peter Shanley and Kathleen O’Higgins.
  204. A series of empirical studies of children in residential care, particularly institutions for young offenders which appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which focused on the social and personal characteristics of institutionalised children provided a research base, albeit comparatively small, for organisations such as CARE. The picture that emerged from these studies showed institutionalised young offenders to be primarily male, overwhelmingly from working class backgrounds, overwhelmingly from urban centres, the majority displaying low levels of literacy and numerical ability, low IQ levels, coming from larger than average size families, and high levels of parental separation. See Flynn, A, McDonald, N and O’Doherty, EF (1967) ‘A Survey of Boys in St Patrick’s Institution: Project on Juvenile Delinquency’. The Irish Jurist, Vol 2; Hart, I (1967) ‘The Social and Psychological Characteristics of Institutionalised Young Offenders in Ireland’. Administration, Vol 16, pp 167-77; Hart, I (1970) ‘A Survey of some Delinquent Boys in an Irish Industrial School and Reformatory’. Economic and Social Review, Vol 1, pp 182-214; Hart, I (1974) Factors Relating to Reconviction among Young Dublin Probationers. Dublin: ESRI. General Research Series No 76; Hart, I and McQuaid, P (1974)’ Empirical Classifications of Types among Delinquent Referrals to a Child Guidance Clinic’. Economic and Social Review, Vol 5, No 2, pp 163-73; Power, B (1971) ‘The Young Lawbreaker’. Social Studies, Vol 1, pp 56-79.
  205. CARE (1972) Children Deprived: The CARE Memorandum on Deprived Children and Children’s Services in Ireland. Dublin: Care. p 28.
  206. Ibid. p 28. CARE subsequently organised a conference on the topic of ‘Planning for Our Children’ on 4th and 5th April 1974.
  207. Ibid. p 67.
  208. Ibid. p 69.
  209. Ibid. p 70.
  210. Ibid. p 72.
  211. These included the National Social Service Council, the Irish National Teachers Organisation, the Catholic Bishops’ Council on Social Welfare, the Irish Association of Social Worker, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Irish medical Association, the Association of Workers for Children in Care, the Psychological Society of Ireland, the Incorporated Law Society and the National Youth Council of Ireland.
  212. Denis O’Sullivan, who was conducting research in the Letterfrack Industrial School at this time noted that ‘Discussions with present and past staff members of the Research School and other correctional schools controlled by the religious Congregation suggested that in the past the allocation of a Brother to the Research school had been sometimes used as a disciplinary measure, and even in recent times Brothers reported being sent to the school to help them resolve religious and personal difficulties. In fact, shortly after field work was completed two members of the teaching staff left the order. The Manager, like the other Brothers, had expressed no desire to serve in the Research School and had no particular interest in this type of work or schooling before being allocated to the school. His experience in the Research School however generated an interest in this type of work, but his superiors’ refusal to allow him to attend a course in Residential Child Care indicated to him that his service in a correctional school was to be short lived. The other Brothers do not appear to have developed any special interest in the type of pupil they were dealing with. It was, for them, a phase in their career to which they applied themselves vigorously and with professional concern, but none of them expressed a desire to devote himself entirely to this type of work. For the manager and staff, then, it was a phase which soon would pass when they would be transferred back into the regular school system.’ O’Sullivan, D (1978) ‘Negotiation in the Maintenance of Social Control: A Study in an Irish Correctional School’. International Journal of Criminology and Penology, 6, 1, 34. Barry Coldrey, himself a Christian Brother, has argued that: ‘the least qualified in the Religious Orders gravitated to work in childcare institutions. In addition, before the Christian Bothers established specialist aged-care facilities for its own members, old, sick, odd and mentally unstable members were commonly ‘hidden’ in institution communities. Brothers or Sisters who worked long years ‘on the orphanage circuit’ had low status within their Congregations.’ Coldrey, B (2000) ‘A Strange Mixture of caring and Corruption’: Residential Care in Christian Brother orphanages and Industrial Schools during their last Phase, 1940s to 1960s. History of Education, 29, 4, 349-50. The historian, Professor Tom Dunne, reflecting on his time in the Christian Brothers and their role in Industrial Schools has written that ‘it was generally believed in the order that men were often sent to staff such terrible places because they had proved difficult, or inadequate, or had got into trouble in ‘normal’ schools. They, too, often felt punished and incarcerated, and the threat of banishment, especially to the more remote schools like Daingean (sic), was often the subject of nervous jokes. While their ‘houses of formation’ were staffed with their brightest and best, the Brothers, it seems, often left the far more needy boys of their industrial schools to the inadequate or the troubled, who were given no special training and little supervision.’ Dunne, T (2002) ‘Seven Years in the Brothers’. Dublin Review, 6, 28-29.
  213. The Association of Workers with Children in Care (AWCC) was founded in the early 1970s and was effectively the new name for Association of Managers of Reformatory and Industrial Schools The AWCC, which included both Managers and Staff in residential care, had its beginnings in the early 1970s and at its foundation and through its early years was dominated by religious. That dominance dwindled over time with the decline in vocations and the movement away from residential child care by some of the religious orders. In the late 1980s, the staff formed their own association, the Irish Association of Care Workers, later renamed as the Irish Association of Social Care Workers. The original objectives of the organisation were: (1) to promote the welfare, education and rehabilitation of children in care; (2) to promote a high standard of training and work in the care of children; (3) to encourage the development of an integrated child care service by promoting co-operation and understanding between the various agencies concerned with the welfare of children; (4) to act in liaison, as required, between children’s homes, childcare agencies, Government Departments and regional health boards etc.; (5) to promote the welfare of those caring for children by seeking to establish and maintain for them secure and adequate salaries and conditions of service; (6) to promote a wide knowledge of recent developments in child care and to seek to show their relevance and application to Ireland; (7) to review research and scientific literature and to initiate or promote research in Ireland.
  214. On 14th May 1975, the post of Child Care Advisor in the Department of Education was advertised. The advert stated that ‘Candidates will be required to have about three years experience in social work, including experience in child care after obtaining an appropriate professional or academic qualification such as a degree or diploma in Social Science or a certificate in Residential Child Care or in Residential Social Work or a diploma in Institutional Management’. The successful appointee was Mr Graham Granville.
  215. Seanad Eireann, Vol 76, 15th November 1973.
  216. For further details, see Shanley, P (1970) ‘The Formal Cautioning of Juvenile Offenders’, The Irish Jurist. (NS) 2, 262-79.
  217. By early 1972 there were 24 probation officers and 47 by 1974, with officers now deployed outside of Dublin and a caseload of nearly a thousand. For further details, see McNally, G (2007) ‘Probation in Ireland: A Brief History of the Early Years’. Irish Probation Journal, 4, 1, 5-24 and Geiran, V (2005) ‘The Development of Social Work in Probation’ in Kearney, N and Skehill, C (eds) Social Work in Ireland: Historical Perspectives. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
  218. For further details on Marlborough House, see Keating, A (2004) ‘Marlborough House: A Case Study of State Neglect’. Studies, 93, 371, 323-35.
  219. The establishment of a remand home and assessment centre for children, which was eventually was established in the early 1970s in Finglas, owed its origins to a proposal in 1946 from Dr McQuaid, the Archbishop of Dublin. However, McQuaid wished to have the centre managed by a religious order, which the Minister for Education agreed to, but the Archbishop was unable to locate an order for this work until the early 1960s. The De la Salle Order, had to wait a further ten years before commencing the management of the centre, despite constant urgings from the Archbishop to establish the centre. In a letter to the Taoiseach in 1966, McQuaid stated that: ‘I am grateful for your note informing me of the position regarding the new remand home in Finglas. The delay is easily understood by me, but if I stress that I initiated this project at least 19 years ago with the Department of Justice, you will realize my desire to save so many lives that could be saved. When I see such vast sums being expended on the roads of Dublin and the neighbouring counties, I may be pardoned in wishing that something could have been spent on straightening the crooked souls of very many youths in the past two decades.’ The De La Salle Brothers withdrew from the Centre in June 2004 over ongoing differences in opinion between the Brothers and the Departments of Education and Justice on the role and function of St Michael’s Assessment Unit.
  220. For further information on the remand and assessment functions of Finglas, see Mayock, P (1995) Residential Assessment: A Comparative Study of Assessment Practices for Children and Young People ‘At Risk’ or ‘In Trouble’ in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Unpublished M.Ed thesis, UCD; Anderson, S and Graham, G (2006) The Custodial Remand System for Juveniles in Ireland. Administration, 54, 1, 50-71 and Seymour, M and Butler, M (2008) Young People on Remand. Dublin: Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.
  221. D/Taoiseach 2005/7/94. Children General.
  222. AWCC (1974) Options in Residential Care. CARE Newsletter, 1, 2, 10.
  223. Ibid. p 10.
  224. Ibid. pp 10-11.
  225. CARE Newsletter, 1, 2, 5.
  226. D/Taoiseach 2005/7/94. Children General.
  227. D/Taoiseach 2005/7/94. Children General.
  228. Ibid.
  229. As one commentator acerbically noted ‘The title of the committee – a Task Force – suggests an image of urgency and incisiveness that the committee’s deliberations did its best to overturn.’ McCullagh, C (1992) Reforming the Juvenile Justice System: The Examination of Failure. Paper presented to the Conference on the State of the Irish Political System, University College Cork, May, 1992.
  230. The members of the Task Force were: Mr Flor O’Mahony, Advisor to the Minister for Health (Chair); Mr P Feeney, Department of Finance; Mr Tomas O Gilin, Department of Education; Mr Ian Hart, Psychologist; Mr Seamus Ó Cinnéide, Social Administration; Miss Niav O’Daly, Social Worker; Mr Kevin O’Grady, Department of Justice; Mr P O Suilleabhain, Department of Health; Mr Matthew Russell, Office of the Attorney General. The Secretary to the Task Force was Mr Brendan Ingoldsby, Department of Health and Councillor Peter Shanley, BL provided legal assistance to the Task Force. An tOnorach Sean de Buitleir was appointed Chairman in December 1977 replacing Mr Flor O’Mahony; Mr JV Hurley, Department of Health replaced Mr P O Suilleabhain in December 1977 and Mr Brian Murphy, Department of the Public Service replaced Mr P Feeney in December 1977. Dr Ian Hart died in March 1980 and An tOnorach Sean de Buitleir died in July 1980.
  231. First Interim Report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Mentally Ill and Maladjusted Persons (1974) Assessment Services for the Courts in Respect of Juveniles. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 4. This Committee was established by the Minister for Justice in January 1972 with the following terms of reference: ‘To examine and report on the provisions, legislative, administrative and otherwise, which the Committee considers to be necessary or desirable in relation to persons (including drug abusers, psychopaths and emotionally disturbed and maladjusted children and adolescents) who have come, or appear likely to come, in conflict with the law and who may be in need of psychiatric treatment’. Chaired by the Hon Mr Justice Henchy of the Supreme Court, other members included Risteard Mac Conchradha who had been a member of the Reformatory and Industrial Schools Systems Report; Padraig Ó Maitiú who was the Principal in the Reformatory and Industrial Schools section of the Department of Education and Dr JA Robins from the Department of Health. In addition to the two reports mentioned above, a third Interim Report entitled ‘Treatment and care of persons suffering from mental disorder who appear before the courts on criminal charges’ was published in 1978.
  232. Ibid. p 5.
  233. Ibid. p 7.
  234. The Irish Association of Social Workers was formed in May 1971, and was the amalgamation of the Irish Society of Medical and Psychiatric Social Workers and the Irish Association of Social Workers.
  235. Recommendations (Part 1) on Developments in Child Care Services prepared by the Irish Association of Social Worker. p 6. The Committee that prepared the document were Sr Marie Barry (Child Study Centre, St Vincent’s); Miss Colette Delaney (ISPCC); Miss Letitia Lefroy (Dr Barnardos); Mr Chris Morris (Department of Justice); Mrs Clodagh McStay (Temple Street Hospital); Sr Meave O’ Sullivan (Child and family Centre, Ballyfermot); Sr Francis Regis (Temple Street Hospital); Miss Brid Rutledge (Eastern Health Board); Mr John Stokes (Church of Ireland Social Services); Sr Francis Xaviour (Child Guidance Clinic, Temple Street); Mrs Gemma Rowley (Convener, Organising Secretary, IASW).
  236. Recommendations (Part 1) on Developments in Child Care Services prepared by the Irish Association of Social Worker. pp 6-7.
  237. Submission to the Task Force on Child Care Services from Sr Lucy Bruton, Convent of Our Lady of Mercy, Lower Sean MacDermott Street, Dublin 1, 10th December 1974. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  238. Recommendations and suggestions from the Social Workers of Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Dublin 12 to the Task Force on Child Care Services, 12th December 1974. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  239. Summary of study of children in residential care in Western Health Board region by R O’Flaherty, August 1974 submitted to the Task Force on Child Care Services. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  240. Comments and suggestions re/ Mr Flaherty’s Report by DE Drohan, 7th November 1974. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  241. Response to Report by Mr Flaherty, 17th November 1974. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  242. Recommendations to the ‘Task Force’.....re. Child Care Services from the Joint Committee of Women’s Societies and Social Workers, 5th December 1974. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  243. Ibid.
  244. Ibid.
  245. ‘Children First’ was founded in May 1974 and gave priority to the following aims: to ensure that each child whose interests would best be served by adoption should be eligible for adoption; to work for improvements in the practice of adoption placement so that an adopted child can be guaranteed, as far as is possible, a secure and loving home; to provide information, help and advice to prospective adoptive parents and to adoptive parents; and to provide a forum for discussion of adoption and of possible improvements in adoption; to encourage research and to promote a greater awareness of the value and merits of adoption.
  246. Submission from ‘Children First’ to the Task Force on Child Care Services. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  247. St Joseph’s Tivoli Road, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin was managed by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Mary. It was established in 1860 and was certified, from 1st April 1964, for the reception of children under section 55 of the Health Act 1955.
  248. Submission from Sr Maureen Hallissey, Manager, St Joseph’s, Tivoli Road, Dun Laoghaire to the Task Force on Child Care Services. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  249. Ibid.
  250. Ibid.
  251. Submission to the Task Force from the ISPCC Social Workers. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  252. Submission to the Task Force from the ISPCC Social Workers. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  253. Submission to the Task Force from the ISPCC Social Workers. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  254. Memorandum submitted by the management committee of Finglas Children’s Centre to Task Force on the Reform of Child Care Legislation and Services. Department of Health C.4.01 .03 Task Force Submissions Vol 1.
  255. Task Force on Child Care Services (1975) Interim Report to the Tanaiste and Minister for Health. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 6.
  256. Ibid. p 6.
  257. Butler, S (1975) Report of IASW/Task Force Research project on Deprived Children. September.
  258. Task Force on Child Care Services (1975) Interim Report to the Tanaiste and Minister for Health. Dublin: Stationery Office. pp 8-9.
  259. Ibid. p 6.
  260. National Archives, Department of An Taoiseach, Children: General File. Memorandum for the Government, Interim Report of the Task Force on Child Care Services, 10th October 1975.
  261. In a separate memo, O Gilin, the Department of Education representative on the Task Force outlined the process by which the figure of 60 was arrived at: ‘(1) as a figure as high as 100 is redolent of old, unreformed child care, and cannot be swallowed – on principle; being a school, there is some recognition of the fact that the modern child care – preferred type of number such as 20 or 30 is altogether unrealistic in the circumstances; (3) so let’s split the difference and arrive at 60 or so (At any rate, don’t let’s try to see if the a figure like 100 is not irrevocably attached to old style institutionalism.’
  262. The application of the relevant provisions of the Children Act 1908 and the School Attendance Act 1926 to traveller children was earlier discussed by the Commission on Itinerancy. Established in 1960 and reporting in 1963, the Commission reported that ‘From enquiries made by the Department of Education, there were in September 1960, only 160 itinerant children on the school rolls throughout the country, of whom 114 were said to be regular attenders. These figures must be contrasted with the census figures, which showed that there were 1,642 children between the ages of 6 and 14 years in itinerant families in December 1960, and 1,472 children in this age group in June 1961. It is clear that almost no itinerant children attend school. The reasons for this, the Commission explained, was that ‘it appears to have been decided by the Department of Education that it is impossible to deal effectively with the non-attendance of the children of itinerants at school under the existing law laid down in the Children Acts and the School Attendance Acts because, inter alia, of their quick passage from place to place and the requirement that it is necessary that a parent be convicted on a second and subsequent offence before a child can be committed to an industrial school for non-attendance at school.’....‘Section 118 of the Children Act, 1908, provides for the imposition of penalties on persons who habitually wander from place to place and thereby prevent children from receiving education. The Commission were unable to obtain information regarding the number of children of itinerant parents who had been committed to industrial schools for non-attendance at school’. The Commission concluded by stating they ‘fear that little if anything can be done in the immediate future for the education of the children of those itinerants who continuously wander. A solution on the lines contemplated by Section 21 of the School Attendance Bill, 1942, might be attempted, but in the view of the Commission such measures would be far too drastic. In present circumstances, it is economically impossible for most itinerant families to remain in one district for the period of the school year. The application of such provisions could only result in most itinerant children being taken from their families and placed in institutions. Itinerants are very attached to their children and the evil social consequences and the suffering which must follow would far outweigh the ‘advantages’ of an education imposed in such conditions with its lasting legacy of bitterness. Indeed such a ‘solution’ of the itinerant problem generally has been suggested to the Commission – not with a view to education as such but based on the belief that a separation of parents and children would result in the children growing up outside the itinerant life and that thus in one generation the itinerants as a class would disappear.’ Commission on Itinerancy (1963) Report. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 64. For a more recent overview of traveller children in care, see O’Higgins, K (1993) ‘Surviving Separation: Traveller Children in Substitute Care’ in Ferguson, H, Gilligan, R and Torode, R (eds) Surviving Childhood Adversity: Issues for Policy and Practice. Dublin: Social Studies Press.
  263. Itinerant Settlement Committees were established in every local authority area in 1969 following a recommendation in the Commission on Itinerancy. For further information, see Crowley, UM (2005) Liberal Rule through Non-Liberal Means: The Attempted Settlement of Irish Travellers (1955-1975). Irish Geography, 38, 2, 128-50.
  264. A residential home for Traveller girls, Derralossary House, in County Wicklow was opened a decade later.
  265. Trudder House closed in April 1995 and residents were moved to a new centre in Clondalkin, Co Dublin. This followed a series of allegations of child sexual abuse in the home. Trudder House was reopened in 1996 as a High Support Unit and renamed Newtown House. More generally, Helleiner argues that, ‘[w]hile direct experiences of institutionalization and frequent threats of removal were certainly part of Traveller childhood, there is, to date, no evidence of a systematic state policy of intervention in the case of Traveller children.’ Helleiner, J (1998) ‘For the protection of the children: The politics of minority childhood in Ireland’. Anthropological Quarterly, 71, 2, 56. See also Breathnach, A (2006) Becoming Conspicuous: Irish Travellers, Society and the State, 1922-1970. Dublin: UCD Press, pp 81-2 for a similar analysis.
  266. This policy was developed in the late 1960s in a report produced by a Committee in the Department of Education to review educational facilities for the children of itinerants largely in response to the aforementioned Commission on Itinerancy, which reported in 1963. The Report stated that ‘The general aim in regard to itinerants is to integrate them with the community, and the Department accepts that educational policy in regard to their children must envisage their full integration in ordinary classes in ordinary schools. The degree to which such integration can take place will vary with circumstances and time, and implementation of the policy, to some extent at least, may have to keep in step with progress made towards the general integration of itinerants with the community.’ (An Roinn Oideachais, The Provision of Educational Facilities for the Children of Itinerants – reprinted in vol 5 of Oideas, the academic journal of the Department of Education and Science.)
  267. With the gradual demise of the Industrial Schools, homeless children became more visible on the streets of Dublin, and a number of voluntary agencies responded to their needs. In 1966 the Los Angeles Society was established following a survey conducted by a number of voluntary agencies which estimated that as many as 150 boys were sleeping rough in Dublin. The Society, after spending a year on various fund-raising projects, set up its first hostel for homeless boys at 26 Arran Quay. In 1968, arising from the same movement which had led to the establishment of the Los Angeles Society, a group of people with a common belief in the need for the provision of hostel accommodation, especially for homeless girls in Dublin, formed the Homeless Girls Society and set about trying to raise sufficient funds to establish such an intervention. Sherrard House in the North Inner City opened in 1970. A limited after-care service was also available in Dublin for those children exiting the Industrial School system. Our Lady’s Hostel for Boys at 64-65 Eccles Street, operating under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin, opened in 1963. Known as the Catholic Boys Home, and managed by a committee of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, it targeted boys aged between 15 and 19 years. In September 1973, the newly established Simon Ireland produced a report on unattached youth in Dublin. The report noted that while a number of general hostels accommodated young people under the age of 25, only seven hostels existed specifically for what were termed unattached youths (generally aged 14 to 20). For young males, three hostels were identified, with a capacity of 52 beds. One of the hostels catered primarily for young persons in breach of the criminal law and the remaining two were described a catering for ‘young boys from a variety of backgrounds – illegitimate, broken homes, orphanages, alcoholic parents etc’. However, neither home had the capacity to accept ‘casuals’ i.e. emergency placements. A further four hostels provided accommodation for 60 young girls, with 10 of them designated for emergency purposes. On 16th February 1976, An Coisde Cuspoiri Cioteann (The General Purposes Standing Committee of Dublin City Council) requested that ‘a report be prepared by our Community and Environment Department on the problem of children who are begging or sleeping rough’ (1976:1). The report was duly presented to the Committee in December of the same year. Distinguishing between traveller and non-traveller children who were sleeping rough, the report argued that the ‘nearest consensus regarding figures we have been able to secure from agencies involved in the problem is that the number of children sleeping rough on any one night is likely to be measured in tens rather than hundreds’. In the same year as An Coisde Cuspoiri Cioteann requested a report on children sleeping rough, a new lay voluntary organisation was established to attempt to meet the needs of children, particularly boys, who were sleeping rough and not accessing appropriate emergency accommodation. HOPE was founded in October 1975 by a German social worker who, when visiting Dublin, was struck by the number of children sleeping rough. A public meeting was held on 29th September 1976 to outline their objectives of obtaining both funding and a premises to allow them to develop ‘an open house project – a place where young people could come to get food, shelter and friendship’. However, they experienced considerable difficulty and it was only on 21st March 1977 that HOPE was in a position to open a hostel at 42 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2.
  268. See Gilligan, R (1997) ‘Ireland’ in Colton, M and Williams, M (eds) (1997) The World of Foster Care – An International Sourcebook on Foster Family Care Systems. Aldershot: Arena.
  269. For further information on the training of child care workers, see O’Connor, P (1992) ‘The Professionalisation of Care Work in Ireland: An Unlikely Development’. Children and Society, 6, 3, 250-66 and Crimmens, D (1998) ‘Training for Residential Child Care Workers in Europe: Comparing Approaches in the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom’. Social Work Education, 17, 3, 309-20.
  270. All information in this section is contained in Department of Health and Children – C.10.03 .05.
  271. This incident formed the basis of the book, Lamb by Bernard McLaverty and the subsequent film of the same name.
  272. They were Morgan Costello, ADM; Gerard McGuire, CC; Paul Lavelle, CC and Peter McVerry, SJ.
  273. These children were colloquially known as the Bugsy Malones. The origins of the name are described in an interview conducted by Farrelly in late 1980s. ‘I wasn’t a Bugsy myself but the people I used to hang around with were like C.N. he was the main man because he was one of the first from the area to go up town and do bank snatches. He used get hundreds and he was looked on as a big man – the Bugsy Malone. One summer eight or nine of them were heading off to Spain bringing their mothers and all with them. The cops got a hold of the story and the Press printed it. ‘These are the Bugsy Malone’s Heading off to Spain’. The name Bugsy Malone came about because of the film that was going on in town at the time. It happened to clash with what was going on in the Inner City and the crime that was happening. If the media hadn’t of interfered I think things would probably have slackened off much quicker. But with the media hype every night in the papers everyone began thinking that they were heroes and that they could do anything. C.N would still be mentioned 10 years later as a Bugsy Malone. People began to live in fear of the Bugsey’s because of the name they had in the media. But when I look back at it now people shouldn’t have been afraid. They lived there and they weren’t going to harm anybody.’ Farrelly, J (1989) Crime, Custody and Community: Juvenile Justice and Crime with particular relevance to Sean McDermott Street. Dublin: Voluntary and Statutory Bodies. p 120.
  274. D/Justice – 2007/116/617.
  275. D/Justice – 2007/116/617.
  276. The team were Mr Padraig Ó Maitiú, Principal Officer, Department of Education, Chairman; Mr Michael O Mordha, Chief Inspector, Department of Education, Mr Tomas Ó Gilín, Assistant Principal Officer, Department of Education; Mr Noel Montayne, Senior Architect, Department of Education; Mr Graham Granville, Child Care Advisor, Department of Education; Mr Patrick Hastings, Assistant Principal Officer, Department of Finance; Mr Michael Curran, Assistant Principal Architect, Office of Public Works; Mr John Hurley, Assistant Principal Officer, Department of Health; Ms Kay Kinsella, Senior Welfare Officer, Department of Justice; Rev William McGonagle, OMI, Director Scoil Ard Mhuire; Rev Br Austin, FSC, Director, Finglas Children’s Centre; Rev Senan Pierce IC, Resident manager, St Joseph’s School, Ferryhouse, Clonmel, Sr Lucy Bruton, Convent of Our Lady of Charity. Sean McDermott St, Dr Brian O’Connell, Medical Director, Northgate Clinic, Hendon, London.
  277. Prisoners Rights Organisation (1978) A Survey of Fifty 12-16 year old Male Offenders from the Sean McDemott Street-Summerhill area of Dublin’s Inner City. Dublin: PRO. p 2.
  278. Irish Times, 25th February 1978.
  279. Irish Times, 18th April 1978. The child welfare agencies that signed the statement were: CARE; Children First; the Irish Association of Democratic Lawyers; The Irish Association of Social Workers; the Irish Council of Civil Liberties; the Labour Women’s National Council; the Political Social Workers Group; the Prisoners Rights’ Organisation; the Psychological Society of Ireland; the Royal College of Psychiatrists (Child Psychiatry Section); the Social Work Education Consultative Council; Simon; the Women’s Political Association; the Irish Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; Women’s Aid; Contact; the National Federation of Youth Clubs; Hope; the Mental Health Association of Ireland; Cherish; Voluntary Service International and the Union of Students in Ireland. See also for example, CARE (1978) Who Wants a Children’s Prison in Ireland. Dublin: Care; Burke, H, Carney, C and Cook, G (1981) Youth and Justice: Young Offenders in Ireland. Dublin: Turoe Press and Cook, G and Richardson, V (eds) (1981) Juvenile Justice at the Crossroads. Dublin: Department of Social Administration, UCD.
  280. Brennock, in an article in Magill Magazine on 21st March 1985 provided a description of the initial inmates of Loughan House, noting that ‘all of them had large numbers of criminal convictions. All had experienced other reform schools and had absconded from them time and time again. All were socially deprived, most of them were described as emotionally immature. Some came in having been living rough around Dublin and were infested with lice and skin diseases. Some had contracted venereal disease.’ Having tracked down the initial 20 inmates of Loughan house, Brennock showed that ‘all of the first twenty inmates of Loughan house served further prison sentences. Several are addicted to heroin. One was shot dead by a detective during an attempted armed raid on the B&I terminal on North Wall. One was killed crashing a stolen care.’ Brennock, M (1985) Temporary Solutions. Magill, 21st March 1984. pp 35-7.
  281. Stewart, G and Tutt, N (1987) Children in Custody. Aldershot: Avebury. p 74. This book was the outcome from a ‘Study Group on Children in Custody’ funded by the Carnegie UK and Joseph Rowntree Memorial Trusts which explored the situation in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The members of the study group from the Republic of Ireland were Professor Mary McAleese from Trinity College Dublin and Mr Seamus Ó Cinnéide from St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
  282. D/Taoiseach 2008-148-585. International Year of the Child.
  283. The Department of Education had signalled its unhappiness at its representation on the Task Force, with Mr Donnchadh F O Ceallachain, the Runai Cunta in the Department of Education writing to Dr JA Robins, Assistant Secretary in the Department of Health on 20th August 1980. In the letter, Mr O’Ceallachain noted that ‘Mr T Ó Gilín was, as you are aware, this Department’s representative on the Task Force from 1974. Following his promotion to the position of Principal officer in charge of the Post-Primary Building Unit proposals for his replacement on the Task Force by his successors in the Special Education Section, Mr M O Failbhe and Mr S O Droighneain respectively were notified to you on 20th September 1979 and 4th December 1979. I understand that, nevertheless, documentation concerning the work of the Task Force has continued to come to Mr Ó Gilín and that this Department has been represented at meetings of the Task Force since Mr O Gilin’s withdrawal. Mr O Droighneain has now retired from the service as indicated to you in our letter of 1st July, 1980 and the question of nominating a replacement has been left in abeyance pending clarification of the position of your Department. On 11th August Mr Ó Gilín received notification of an all day meeting of the Task Force for Friday, 15th August and an intimation that a draft of the final report was scheduled to be placed before the Minister for Health by the end of August. Copies of various chapters of Draft No 3 of the final report of the Task Force were appended. You will appreciate that this position which has developed regarding representation has caused this Department considerable difficulty in considering the final stages of the report and it raises the question as to whether it would be appropriate for Mr Ó Gilín or any other representative of the Department to be a signatory to the final draft of the report, even with expressed reservations. In connection with such reservations the position of the Department regarding the transfer of administrative responsibility for special schools and for school attendance services has already been conveyed to you and the Task Force.’
  284. At the meeting of the Task Force on 15th August which discussed the 3rd Draft of the Final Report, it was agreed that if ‘the report was to be submitted to the Minister in its present form, it should be accompanied by a letter to the effect that it was not considered suitable for publication.’
  285. Keenan has argued that: ‘By the time the Task Force was published in 1981, a number of factors had come into play which were to seriously restrict progress on the updating of the child care system for a decade. They included three governments within a period of 18 months and, of greater significance, the fact that by the early 1980s the Irish economy was in serious difficulty. The development and expansion of the child care system was not considered viable at this time although it should be acknowledged that it was recognised as a priority which should be planned for in the expectation that the economy would eventually improve. The fact that the Task Force Report itself presented difficulties should also be acknowledged. Undoubtedly a most important report, which continues to be largely relevant, in the seven years it took from beginning to end much of the momentum which led to its establishment in the first place was dissipated. Furthermore it consisted of both a majority and a supplementary report, the latter written by those members of the Task Force who were not civil servants.’ Keenan, O (1997) Child Welfare in Robins, J (ed) Reflections on Health: Commemorating Fifty Years of the Department of Health, 1947-1997. Dublin: Department of Health. pp 65-6.
  286. Task Force on Child Care Services (1980) Final Report. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 4.
  287. Ibid p 182.
  288. Ibid p 85.
  289. Ibid. p 85.
  290. Ibid. p 87.
  291. Ibid. p 88.
  292. Ibid. p 382.
  293. Ibid. pp 382-3.
  294. The Inspectorate within the Department of Education concurred with Ó Maitiú stating that they ‘share his frustration at the lack of clarity in many of the issues raised and the extent of disagreement on many of the recommendations. These point to the complexity of the situation and the virtually total lack of empirical evidence on the efficacy of the various approaches to child care. The recommendation that one Department (Health) should have a lead role in the administration of child care services is sensible. That Department, however, would need to establish a system for monitoring the quality of the services it will administer. Its record in monitoring caring services for the mentally handicapped leaves a lot to be desired.’
  295. This was acknowledged in the supplementary report which outlined that ‘Of all the issues which fell within the Task Force’s terms of reference and which are covered in our Main Report, the most contentious, and one which took up most of our time in discussion, was the issue of how child offenders should be dealt with by the law. Very comprehensive papers on this and related topics were prepared by members of the Task Force in 1975 and 1976 and they were discussed in detail at the time. From then on there were repeated and extensive discussions covering everything from basic principles to practical details of how a new system of juvenile justice would operate. Some of these renewed discussions were necessitated by the changes in the membership of the Task Force. At no time was there general agreement on what the Task Force’s recommendations should be. In the end the discussion and recommendations which appear in chapter 18 of the Main Report were decided on in the last week before a complete draft of that report was approved.’ Task Force on Child Care Services (1981) Final Report. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 240.
  296. Task Force on Child Care Services (1981) Final Report. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 232.
  297. Ibid. p 252.
  298. Ibid. p 341.
  299. Ibid. p 370.
  300. Chaired by Sean Mac Bride, other members included Michael D Higgins, Gemma Hussey, Michael Keating, Dr Mary McAleese, Patrick Mc Entee, Dr Michael Mac Greil, Muireann O’Briain and Una O’Higgins O’Malley. The self-stated rationale for the enquiry was the ‘failure to date on the part of the State to have instituted such an enquiry’. The report stated that ‘it was as a result of such neglect that the PRO (Prisoners Rights Organisation) invited the members, selected from a wide range of social, political, legal and academic backgrounds, to constitute themselves as a Commission for the purpose stated.
  301. Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the Irish Penal System (1980) Report. Dublin: Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the Irish Penal System. p 30.
  302. Osborough, WN (1979) Irish Juvenile Justice: System and Formalism. Administration, 27, 4, p 497.
  303. Equally, for children with no permanent family relationships, the continuity of relationships with staff is so vital that the work should not be undertaken unless this continuity can be provided. The religious orders who, at present, run such centres appear to be in a particularly good position to ensure this necessary continuity. While the lay staff working in the centres can be expected to change, this is much less likely where members of religious orders are concerned. It would not be necessary for them to undertake all the work with the children, or even to take the primary responsibility for running the centre. Indeed, this would probably be neither feasible from the Orders’ point of view nor desirable from the children’s. Children in such centres need to relate to care staff of both sexes and with varied outside interests while the members of staff most competent to run the centre need not necessarily be a member of the religious order involved. Members of he Orders could, however, take part in the children’s lives and care, either as full members of staff or otherwise, to the degree necessary to provide permanence and stability and to protect the children from the most damaging effects of the loss of stability. (1980: 191-2).
  304. The Association of Workers with Children in Care (1982) The Task Force on Child Care Services – A Response. Dublin: Association of Workers with Children in Care. p 1.
  305. Ibid. p 12.
  306. Ibid. p 17.
  307. Ibid. p 18.
  308. Department of Health. C.1.01 .03.6.
  309. Ibid.
  310. Ibid.
  311. Ibid.
  312. Ibid.
  313. Ibid.
  314. Ibid.
  315. Ibid.
  316. Ibid.
  317. Ibid.
  318. Ibid.
  319. Ibid.
  320. Department of Health. C.1.01 .03.5.
  321. Department of Health, Child Care Bill 1988 – Consultation with Govt Depts – C1.03 .03.
  322. Ibid.
  323. Ibid.
  324. Ibid.
  325. Ibid.
  326. Ibid.
  327. Government of Ireland (1984) Building on Reality, 1985-1987. Dublin: Stationery Office. pp 98-100.
  328. In his memoirs, Mr Barry Desmond, the Minister for Health at that time recalled: ‘When I introduced the Children’s (Care and Protection) Bill 1985, no less than 15 years had lapsed since the recommendation of the Committee on Reformatory and Industrial School Systems (the Kennedy Report) of 1970. From February 1983 to April 1985 I had worked unceasingly within the Department of Health in consultation with the departments of Finance, Justice, Education and Labour to have a comprehensive bill drafted. The observations of Justice alone ran to 35 pages. Between September and December 1984 we had innumerable consultations with Matt Russell of the Attorney General’s office. It was an uphill battle every week. Matt used to admonish me: “Minister, your bill is like a ball of string. Pull a thread and it keeps on coming!”. Without the intense efforts of Liam Flanagan, Dr Joe Robins, assistant secretary and Donal Devitt, principal officer, I doubt if the bill would have seen the light of day in 1985. The work of Augusta McCabe, the social work advisor to the childcare division of the department, was of enormous assistance.’ Desmond, B (2000) Finally and in Conclusion: A Political Memoir. Dublin: New Island Books. p 276.
  329. Barnardos, Campaign for the Care of Deprived Children, Campaign for the Development of Social Services, Cherish, Focus-Point, Federation of Services for the Unmarried Mother and their Children, Irish Association of Care Workers, Irish Pre-School Playgroup Association, Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children, Local Government and Public Service Union, World organisation for Early Childhood Education, Probation and Welfare Officers’ Branch, Voluntary and Statutory Workers of the North Inner City, Irish Foster Care Association (1986) Response to Children (Care and Protection) Bill 1985. Dublin.
  330. Department of Health, Child Care Bill 1988 – Consultation with Govt Depts – C1.03 .03.
  331. Ibid.
  332. Ibid.
  333. Ibid.
  334. Ibid.
  335. Ibid.
  336. A number of statutory reports including the National Youth Policy Committee (1984) Final Report. Dublin: Stationery Office; the Committee of Inquiry into the Penal System (1985) Report. Dublin: Stationery Office and Dáil Eireann (1992) First Report of the Select Committee on Crime – Juvenile Crime – Its Causes and Its Remedies. Dublin: Government of Ireland had all broadly endorsed a welfarist approach to juvenile justice.
  337. SI No 358/1983: Education (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order1983.
  338. DE1P0118-097. McDonagh, K (1975) The Financing of Residential Group Homes. An Roinn Oideachais. McDonagh was a systems analyst in the Department of Education.
  339. Kidney, RJ & Co (1976) ‘Cost of Maintaining Children in Care’.
  340. They were Rev Fr B Comiskey; Sr Josephine, Sisters of Mercy; Br D Drohan, Christian Brothers; and Mr Doorley, of RJ Kidney and Co, Chartered Accountants.
  341. These were Drs Kavanagh and Birch, Sr Stanislaus and Miss Pauline Berwick.
  342. Report of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Financing of Children’s Residential Homes (1977).
  343. Task Force on Child Care Services (1980) Final Report. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 201.
  344. Ibid. p 188
  345. Inter-Departmental Committee on the Operation and Financing of Children’s Residential Homes – Report to the Minister for Health, September 1983.
  346. Department of Health – Review of Children’s residential homes, 1984-C.14.12 .04.
  347. Ibid.
  348. Ibid.
  349. Ibid.
  350. Department of Health – Review of Children’s residential homes, 1984-C.14.12 .04.
  351. Department of Health (1986) Health Services, 1983-1986. Dublin: Stationery Office. pp 70-1.
  352. Report of the Commission on Health Funding. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 358.
  353. Paragraph 17.27 stated: ‘Those responsible for the management of services in each region should, with the involvement of the voluntary organizations, determine the services required to meet these guidelines both in respect of the needs in their area and the most effective provision of these services, through the use of the available voluntary and statutory services. The grant-aid to each voluntary organization in each area should be related to the provision of a specific agreed level and type of service; the inter-relationship in the field between statutory and voluntary workers (and between voluntary workers of different organizations) should be clearly set out; and there should be an agreed basis for the evaluation of each agency’s contribution.’
  354. Government of Ireland (1991) Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General. Dublin: Stationery Office. pp 97-8.
  355. Mahony, P (1989) Residential Care Now. Irish Social Worker, 8, 1, p 13.
  356. Ibid. p 13.
  357. National Youth Policy Committee (1984) Final Report. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 182.
  358. Government of Ireland (1985) ‘In Partnership with Youth’... the National Youth Strategy. Dublin: Stationery Office. p 41.
  359. The Scope and Type of Facility Necessary to Deal Adequately with the Problem of Young Female Offenders. The report group was chaired by Mr J Kirby from the Department of Justice, along with the principal probation and welfare officer, Mr M Tansey. Representing the Department of Education were Mr S MacGlennain and Miss M Ni Fhearghail and from the Garda Síochána, Inspector P Nolan. The secretary to the group was Mr D McCarthy from the Department of Justice.
  360. Review of Custodial Provisions for Young Offenders.
  361. In March 1987, to mark the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, a conference entitled ‘Streetwise’ was organised by Focus Point (Focus Point was established in 1985 in order to provide a range of innovative services to homeless households and operates today under the rubric of Focus Ireland) and UNICEF to highlight the situation of young homeless people both in Ireland and internationally Following the conference, an umbrella body called the Streetwise National Coalition was established. Streetwise aimed to identify and draw attention to the needs of out-of-home young people for the purpose of improving policies and practice leading to the alleviation and elimination of youth homelessness in Ireland. Streetwise aimed to achieve these objectives by co-ordinating the efforts of individuals and agencies working with out-of-home young people, instigating relevant research projects, and collating relevant information. Streetwise operated until the mid-1990s.
  362. Streetwise National Coalition in collaboration with the Resident Managers Association. (1991) At What Cost?: A Research Study on Residential Care for Children and Adolescents in Ireland. Dublin: Focus Point. The author of this present report contributed to the drafting of this report.
  363. Ibid. p 18.
  364. Ibid. p 19.
  365. Ibid. p 20.
  366. Gilligan, R (1989) Child Care and Family Support: Choices for the Church. Dublin: Conference of Major Religious Superiors. pp 3-4.
  367. McCarthy, P, Kennedy, S and Matthews, C (1996) Focus on Residential Child care in Ireland: 25 Years since the Kennedy Report. Dublin: Focus Ireland. pp120-1.