[Sinn Fein]

9 May 2002

Department for Children Required

Speaking today at the launch of the party's proposals on Social exclusion Dublin West Candidate Mary Lou McDonald called for the establishment of a department for Children, to deal with issues such as child care'.

Mary Lou McDonald said:

``The unacceptable abuse and exploitation of Irish children for generations is well documented. These abuses were possible because some of the most powerful institutions in our society were given control over the least powerful.

``All those involved in such abuse must be charged and prosecuted.

``Those who were involved in covering it up for so long must also be made accountable.

``The next Dail must bring forward the necessary steps to ensure that such abuse does not happen again.

Sinn Fein are proposing a number of measures in this area:

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