A new independent Irish report has confirmed that many young children entrusted to the care of the State over a ten year period have died after 'significant and repeated' failures by State authorities.
In all, the report found, 115 vulnerable children died over a 10-year period, having failed to be adequately protected.
Details of the new report were published in the Irish Times this week, and the report itself is expected to provide a definitive account of how the State interacted with these children.
The report will call for further independent inquiries into a number of troubling cases where major failures were observed or where authorities failed to produce sufficient documentation on how cases were handled.
Potential legal actions by some families against State authorities over the handling of certain cases is anticipated.
The report found there was a repeated lack of co-operation between different agencies providing services to children at risk children. Mismanagement and a notable lack of follow-through were also contributing factors.
Norah Gibbons, director of advocacy with the children's charity Barnardos and Geoffrey Shannon, a solicitor and specialist in child law led the investigation. Irish Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald told the press their findings were 'harrowing' and would be published as soon as the report got legal clearance.
One of the young people who died whilst in care of the state was fourteen year old Devlin Kavanagh, who died in 2006. He was due to be admitted to a secure care unit for his own safety after a High Court order given in Dublin in December 2006. Irish police failed to execute the court's order and he Kavanagh his own life five days later.
The boys' mother Orla Kavanagh told the Irish Times she and her husband felt let down by the State. 'In our case, we went to the State looking for help. We were crying out for help, but it never arrived. We still wonder how things might have turned out differently. The failures in his case were repeated. And as far as I can see, they are still being repeated.'
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