Press Release

Hanafin welcomes Court initiative

The Minister for Children, Mary Hanafin T.D., today welcomed the initiative by Mr. Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court to give trial priority to cases involving allegations of serious sexual abuse of children.

In a statement Minister Hanafin said:

“I welcome today’s initiative by Mr. Justice Carney in the High Court which will result in cases involving allegations of serious sexual abuse of children receiving additional priority when it comes to fixing trial dates”.

Research in the Mid-Western Health Board Area and concerns expressed at the recent CARI (Children at Risk Ireland) Conference suggest that the period between an incident of child sexual abuse occurring and the date of trial is particularly difficult for children as there is a reluctance on the part of child care professionals to fully engage with the child lest there be a suggestion of improperly influencing the child’s evidence. This in turn leads to a risk that the child receives less then optimum treatment whilst the trial is pending.

The effect of Mr. Justice Carney┬┤s initiative will be to minimise the pre-trial delay thus ensuring that children are in a position to receive all the appropriate therapy at the earliest possible date.