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Ireland's Invisible Children

Children in Ireland are suffering horrifically. Children who could and should have been protected, are literally dying because the child protection system is unfit for purpose, and desperately needs 'root-and-branch' reform.



A report into the deaths of children whilst in state care in the Republic of Ireland, concluded that the majority of kids did not receive an adequate child protection service. The report examined 196 cases in which a child or young person died between 2000 and 2010. It found 112 of the deaths were from "non-natural deaths" and may have been preventable.


Problem issues identified by the report included many that have been identified multiple times over the years by various reports and case reviews:

1) A Lack of proper co-ordination between state agencies, resulting in fragmented service delivery and inability to plan appropriately in order to meet a child’s needs.

2) Poor record keeping, compounding the problem above.

3) Inadequate risk assesment

4) Instances where social work involvement ceased despite the presence of ongoing risk factors, and children were 'invisible' to the very authorities responsible for their care.

The report recommends root-and-branch reform of the child protection system.

A review commissioned by the HSE and published in 2010 had already observed that the Children and Family Services lacked direction, required leadership and operated inconsistently. This recent report has provided further evidence of the need for radical reform of child services.

Given the shameful history of child abuse and child protection failings across the board, we MUST ensure the rights and well-being of the children of Ireland are no longer abused, denied and ignored. We MUST stop it here and now, today. We owe it to the next generation of youth, AND those struggling today because of past failings.

See news reports here and here.


THESE CHILDREN CANNOT PROTECT THEMSELVES. THEY NEED YOUR HELP. The system as it is, is failing them. Don't be blind to them too.

Members of the Legislative Assembly must commit the time, resources and genuine intent to the very difficult task of honestly examining the root causes and perpetuating factors that contribute to the suffering of Irelands' children.

Only then will effective solutions be identified and implemented. Only then will the most vulnerable and frightened of children have their cries for help answered.

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TOGETHER, we WILL make a difference.

Thank you :)

This petition was delivered to:
  • Northern Ireland Assembly
    Peter Robinson
  • Northern Ireland Assembly
    Martin McGuinness
  • Northern Ireland Assembly
    Edwin Poots
  • Northern Ireland Assembly
    John O'Dowd
  • Northern Ireland Assembly
    David Ford
  • Northern Ireland Assembly
    Nelson McCausland
  • UK Government NI Office
    The Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP
  • UK Government NI Office
    The Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP


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