Child welfare

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Deaths of children in care

The government came under fire over the issue of the deaths of children in state care (Dail Eireann, Debates, 25th May 2010, 33-8). The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, told Enda Kenny (FG, Mayo) that a figure of 23 had been confirmed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the factual information requested by the review group of Norah Gibbons and Geoffrey Shannon would be given as a matter or urgency. Furthermore, amending legislation would be brought in so as to improve the exchange of information that might be otherwise legally restricted. There were legal problems that needed to be addressed and it was not possible to give a direction if there were legal restraints under the Child Care Act.
Eamon Gilmore (Lab, Dun Laoghaire) described it as incredible that the state could not tell us how many children had died in its care. Newspapers were quoting a figure of 200 children, which was a big difference from 20, which was 10 to 12 times the normal mortality rate in the wider population. It should not take a state agency months to compile.
> See also Dail Eireann, Debates, 26th May 2010, 361-4