Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ní Riada has condemned the government’s callous disregard of those who suffered abuse in state schools.
She made the comments as she took a delegation of survivors to the European Parliament to highlight the Irish Government’s failure to address their case.
The Ireland South MEP said the Government had further insulted victims and survivors by snubbing the delegation when they came to the Parliament.
“While I am of course determined to assist those seeking justice it is outrageous that victims of such horrendous abuses have had to go to these lengths to get the attention of the Irish Government,” she said.
“The crimes that were inflicted on them as vulnerable children have only been compounded by an indifferent Government’s attitude to the restitution they are entitled to as adults.
“The stories these incredibly strong people have to tell would break your heart.
“It is clear to any right thinking person that as children in the charge of the state who suffered horrendous abuses the state should have to own up to and ameliorate them for the horrors they endured.
“Yet, instead of seeking to help these people, whose experiences none of us can imagine, the state has chosen to impose the most outrageous restrictions on their search for justice.
“The Irish state is, in effect, re-traumatising those who have endured the most horrific trauma.
“The modest and belated redress scheme established by Government in the wake of the Louise O’Keeffe case was designed to be inaccessible and to effectively lock survivors out. Many brave men and women, who did a service to the state in seeing their attackers tried and convicted, are now being fought tooth and nail by the state.
“Furthermore the Government’s gross misinterpretation of the outcome of Louise’s trial, in which a previous complaint against her abuser helped her achieve a ruling, means the Government is, unbelievably, telling abusers that they get their first victim for free.
“It is an appalling injustice and in a further insult to survivors, not one Fine Gael MEP came to meet the VOCADS group.
“These people came half way across Europe to share their story but not one of Fine Gael’s four MEPs could make it down a hallway to listen to them.
“Their contempt for their own constituents, indeed for anyone who would challenge the Government, is outrageous and is behaviour unbecoming of an MEP.
“I hope, in bringing this delegation to the European Parliament, and asking them to again share the traumatic experiences they have endured, that the Irish Government will realise, in the face of international horror, that they have, in the most despicable way, mistreated these heroic individuals and will do the right thing and award them the restitution they deserve.
“This is not just a case about a handful of individuals; their case cuts to the heart of how we, as a nation, treat those we have wronged.
“Until we have a government with the fortitude to face up to our many wrongs as a nation, Ireland will continue to be judged by the pain of those we have failed.”