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Scoping Inquiry into Historical Sexual Abuse in Schools run by religious orders

On 7 March 2023, Minister for Education Norma Foley announced the establishment of a scoping inquiry, to shape Government’s response to revelations of historical sexual abuse in schools run by religious orders.

The scoping inquiry will be led by Mary O’Toole, Senior Counsel.

The inquiry will be informed by reports and inputs from experts across a range of areas, including child protection, restorative justice and, most importantly, survivor engagement as well as analysis of previous inquiries including the Ferns Report, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation.

At the end of the process, the Lead will submit a report, including recommendations for next steps, to the Minister.

The scoping inquiry will have survivor engagement as a central part of its work. The survivor engagement process will allow the views of those who are most directly affected to be heard clearly, and ensure that the recommendations set out in the Lead’s final report to the Minister are informed by the outcomes sought by survivors.

The process will be conducted by facilitators trained in trauma-informed practice. This engagement will take many forms, including, in the initial stages, a questionnaire, as well as facilitated workshops and individual engagement.

Survivors who wish to register their interest in the process can find details of how to do so at www.gov.ie/EducationScopingInquiry

The closing date for people to register their expressions of interest is 17 April 2023.

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