25 Jan 2005

The Commissioner said the report should be used to make sure that child protection is further strengthened in all schools.

“While many of the recommendations are already in place I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to make sure that we as a society protect children from abuse – no matter its source – and we should use these recommendations to remind everyone in a position of trust of their obligations.

Mr Williams continued:

“The contents of this report are appalling. It is clear that there were so many opportunities since 1993 to, at the very least, minimise the trauma which the boys suffered.

“It is almost a year since I called upon the Education Minister to start this inquiry. I welcome the diligence and professional approach the inquiry team has brought to this case.

“I hope their findings will be used to enhance and clarify child protection in Northern Ireland.

“It is clear from the report that too many adults failed to take seriously, or investigate properly, reports from pupils that they were suffering sexual abuse.

“I hope that in future all adults remember that it is vitally important to listen to children, hear what they are saying and act upon concerns and fears and I hope that while it will have been difficult for those young men affected by this to re-live the experience this inquiry will have helped in healing such extreme hurt.”

Notes for Editors

The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People called for the establishment of the Statutory Inquiry on the 23rd March 2004.

Full details of the Commissioner's roles and responsibilities are available at www.niccy.org