The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Bellow is part of an email that I received and all I have done is to separate it into manageable chunks and posted it here.

I felt there was to much information in it to post a one post, At the bottom you will find links to the rest of the email

Please read the introduction to the email before reading this section by clicking (HERE)

Anything in italics has been edited by me to make it work on this site for your easy of use.

In two independent reports conducted by AnneMarie Crean (2017) and Fionna Fox (2017) regarding the shortcomings of the Caranua administration and the effect this was having on applicants, AnneMarie and Fionna both requested in their reports for consultation talks with survivors regarding Caranua.

However, after considering the impact of this and discussing it with a number of survivors, Reclaiming Self concluded that in order to properly hear survivors experiences of schemes as well as hearing from survivors what services believe they need into the future, it was decided that a call for a broader agenda for consultation talks should occur. This should provide a platform for survivors to a) discuss their experiences of various schemes and b) highlight what they believe are their needs into the future and supports required around this.

  

The idea of a large scale consultation process by AnneMarie Crean and Fionna Fox to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) last year. At the NGO private session Reclaiming Self submitted a list of proposed Recommendations (attached to the Post  @ https://theenchantingvalley.ning.com/forum/topics/reclaiming-self-o...) that the UNCAT could request of Ireland. This included a request for a broad and international  survivor consultation process. Further details of the UNCAT examination of Ireland in relation to survivors of the Industrials School system can found below.  

After a meeting on the 10th November 2017 with the Minister for Education and the Residential Institutions Redress Unit (RIRU) section of the Department of Education, in which survivor consultation talks were discussed, RS received confirmation from the Department  on the  13th November 2017 outlining a provisional agreement for consultation talks. This meeting was not organised by RS but by a survivor who is a member of another organisation. Despite information to the contrary there was an agreement made on the 10th November 2018 that consultation process would occur once the “mechanics” were worked out. RS did not engage further talks regarding the consultation as we were concerned that the Department's history of rolling out schemes with limited measures. 

On the 29th May 2018 the Dept of Education released a press release (to read click on the link https://theenchantingvalley.ning.com/forum/topics/29-may-2018-minis... ).

The Press Release noted the:

  • ·Wind down and eventual closure of Caranua

  • ·The establishment of consultation talks

  • ·The development of an Interdepartmental Committee. The function of this Committee is to assess how survivors needs can be met within existing services. 

  • ·The opportunity to partake in a questionnaire which would develop the consultation agenda. A link to a questionnaire  (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N8YXKQ9 ) was available in the Departments press release. This is now closed.

AnneMarie and Fionna on behalf of RS, critically evaluated the press release, the questionnaire and proposed Interdepartmental Committee. The critical evaluation of the press release, questionnaire and proposed Interdepartmental Committee formed the basis of Rs’ ‘Position Paper’.

In short the ’Position Paper’ outlines:

  • ·As it stands the Departments proposal is not survivor directed.  The consultation talks are exclusionary for many.

  • ·It is not well advertised for survivors to participate in exploring the questionnaire.
  • ·Many survivor voices are not provided the opportunity to be heard

  • ·It is a State set agenda, from which survivors get to choose what services they want to discuss. There is absolutely no platform for survivors to discuss their needs moving forward, which leads to questions as to how the Interdepartmental Committee will address survivor needs if they do not know what survivor needs are.

  • ·Given its history of shortcoming in relation to the development of schemes and its treatment of survivors, the paper raised concern that the Department is not best placed to develop these talks.

  • ·The Inter departmental Committee is missing the most important aspect of survivor needs- The Department of Housing

  • ·Concern that survivor supports will be within already established state services, thus cutting back on aid to survivors.

  • ·Concern that Caranua would be a body which the Interdepartmental Committee would turn to for information on survivor needs. This is not an acceptable form of assessing survivor needs given Caranua’s history of administrative and operational shortcomings.

  • ·Called for an Independent Survivor Consultation Forum which would design in discussion with survivors, the Agenda that survivors want to have for the consultation talks. This Forum would act as a body which would ensure that survivor needs are met through working WITH the Interdepartmental Committee.

RS submitted the ‘Position Paper’ to the Education Committee of the Oireachtas and the Department of Education noting serious concerns with the Departments proposal.  (The ‘Position Paper’ can be read by clicking this link).

It took the Department of Education’s RIRU section over ten weeks to acknowledge this correspondence.

However, in its recent response to RS on the 31st August 2018, the Department acknowledged “the survey of survivors was to try and establish what level of interest there was in attending consultation events and where it would suit people to hold these consultation events. The number of respondents was expectedly low and it is recognised that this may not reflect the actual level of interest amongst survivors”.

RS raised concern that this would happen given the design of the questionnaire and the lack of advertising of it. We were informed by the Department would be publishing a survey analysis in the near future. RS has replied requesting an expected date for this analysis as it has promised reports with regards to Caranua that have yet to be furnished almost two years later.  We await a response.

Also See

Reclaiming Self on Caranua and the Oirechatas Committes : Education...

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