Deputy Patrick Costello, vice-chair of the Oireachtas Children’s Committee, was today speaking following the release of the Geoffrey Shannon report into historical sexual abuse at St John’s Ambulance.
He began, “Today is a huge milestone in the search for truth and transparency. This would not have been possible without the tireless work of Mick Finnegan and other survivors. Their commitment to the search justice is truly inspirational.”
Reflecting on the report itself he continued, “St Johns Ambulance need now to ensure their practices are up to standard. They also need to look at how they deal with survivors. This approach should be one which places survivors front and centre. This may also include structural change and a complete reworking of organisation’s board of directors.”
Concluding he remarked, “Those organisations who use St John’s services, such as sporting bodies, need to ensure that anyone services they use have appropriate practice and procedures protections in place. If St John’s can’t provide those guarantees, then these organisations need to think about alternatives options.”
“Today is not the end of the journey, it is only the beginning. I will be pushing Minister O’Gorman to carry out a full review of child protection policy in the voluntary first-aid sector.”