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"Urgent Need for Independent Review of Tusla's Special Emergency Accommodation Needed" - Tóibín

The Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called for an urgent review of Special Emergency Accommodation for children in State care. It follows a report in today's Irish times that one of the companies providing accommodation had fabricated staff vetting and checks. 


Speaking today, the Meath West TD said: "We have long been calling out the government and Tusla over their use of SEAs. Tusla have confirmed to me in writing on many occasions that SEAs are "unregulated placements mostly in rented accommodation, apartments, and houses with staffing from third party providers". This is extremely concerning. I spoke on RTE's Today With Claire Byrne during the week on the topic, and Tusla's CEO was adamant on the same report that the vetting practices from these companies could be trusted. We now know this is not true. We need an independent review into SEAs as a matter of urgency". 


Deputy Tóibín continued: "We also need to relook at the funding practices within the Child and Family Agency when it comes to children in care - the voluntary care sector have been hung out to dry, and are given much less funding than the special care providers - and yet manage to provide a much better quality and regulated service for some of the most vulnerable children in the State. I have heard horror stories from SEAs and I really fear that this scandal is but the tip of the iceberg. I am concerned too about the accuracy of the assertion than no children under the age of twelve are in SEAs. We need an independent review to establish this". 


"We need to look at the death rate from suicide and drug overdoses among children in care, across the various settings. The government's reaction to Judge Simms when he blew the whistle on problems in the system was utterly shameful - I understand they scolded him for contacting them, and in the case of Minister O'Gorman, the files sent by Justice Simms were deleted citing GDPR - this is unacceptable. We need accountability here - how many children will have their whole lives destroyed due to dodgy and unsuitable placements? For those children who do not settle in foster placements, residential care is the only option - but it needs to be regulated. While everyone is distracted by the RTE saga, Roderic O'Gorman is presiding over a system where unvetted staff are charged with the protection of children under the care of the State and that these children are going missing at a colossal scale, and being left hugely exposed to trafficking, sexual and criminal exploitation", concluded Tóibín. 

By Aontú Press | 28 February, 2024

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Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.