[Sinn Fein]

10 July 2000

Rape victim (16) left homeless

EHB member says agencies should hang their heads in shame

Sinn Fein Councillor Christy Burke, a member of the Eastern Health Board, has called on Children's Minister Mary Hanafin to personally intervene and find accommodation immediately for the 16-year-old girl whose father was jailed last week for raping, torturing and mutilating her and her mother and who now finds herself homeless.

Councillor Burke has written to the Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Health Board seeking a full explanation ``as to why this young woman has been offered no help even though the authorities have known of her distressing plight since last year''.

Councillor Burke said he will also raise the issue at next Monday's meeting of the Northern Area Committee of the Eastern Health Board, of which he is a member. He said:

``The Eastern Health Board and the Eastern Regional Health Authority should hang their heads in shame. This young woman has suffered unspeakable trauma and horrors and then she finds herself cast aside by State agencies whose responsibility is to care for people in need.

``Just where did compassion and sensitivity go to when officials were dealing with this young woman's heart-rending ordeal?''

(Cllr Burke can be contacted @ 086 812 6347)

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