Statement On Omagh Fire Inquest

9 December 2009 News

Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley said:

“It is vital that lessons are learned from this tragedy. For me the most important lesson is that children must be listened to and their concerns acted upon when they report abuse.

“Child protection is a key priority for me and has been since NICCY was established. My role is to monitor and scrutinise Government and public authorities to ensure they protect and safeguard children and young people.

“Following a commitment I made in May, I am writing to the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety to make sure that the recommendations from the Toner Report, which looked at arrangements for managing and assessing the risks posed by sex offenders, have been fully implemented across Northern Ireland.

“There was an issue around how the agencies involved worked together and shared information. It is essential that a joined up multi-agency approach is put in place to close any gaps and I welcome the steps that have been established to address this.

“I will be taking time to reflect on the implications of the findings of the inquest. I think it is essential that all relevant bodies do the same. Learning needs to be translated into recommendations and actions that are planned for, implemented and monitored.”