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Ex-Teacher Awarded €700,000 against HSE for "Grossly Reckless" Sex-Abuse Inquiry


Kilbarry

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Ex-teacher awarded €700,000 against HSE - The Irish Times - Sat, Dec 22, 2012

Story is on page 6 of the Irish Times today Saturday. Subheadings are
"Court finds inquiry into sex abuse claims conducted in 'grossly reckless' manner AND
"Man was a victim 'of targeted malice' and of a 'prejudged investigation'

EXTRACT:

In his judgment Mr Justice O’Neill said a report of March 2006 which led to the teacher being removed from his post and placed on administrative leave fell far short of an honest attempt by the HSE to discharge its duty. The documentary evidence in the case “demonstrates forcibly that from the outset of this investigation its outcome was always prejudged or determined”, he said.

It also showed the investigation was “conducted in a manner calculated to ensure that the predetermined concluding would not be deflected or disturbed by any meaningful input by the applicant”. Mr Justice O’Neill said the allegations were effectively accepted as true from the outset and said the health board and health service had at every step of the investigation “sheltered these allegations from appropriate scrutiny, thereby ensuring the applicant did not escape his fate as a child sex abuser, as they saw it”.


I can recall at least two other cases of this type where the HSE conducted bogus investigations of teachers and simply equated an allegation of sex-abuse with guilt. And these are the people who failed to notice that 200 young people in their care had died between 2000 and 2010 - the majority being unnatural deaths (homicide, suicide, drug abuse etc) - I think the original figure they gave was twenty!
 

Kilbarry

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The Irish Times story is not particularily prominent and I see that the on-line version ommits the two sub-headings thus making it shorter still. The Irish Independent has the story at the bottom of page 26 on its Courts page and it is about half the length of the Irish Times one. It's called "Teacher awarded €700,000 for sex abuse probe failings" but I can't get it online just now.

Is this really all this story is worth? For example are the people responsible for the bogus inquiry going to lose their jobs. (Ha Ha I know the answer to that one.) Are they even going to be reprimanded? Have they conducted other sex-abuse inquiries in the past and will they be allowed to conduct them in the future?

If the media could blame the Bishops, the Banks or Businessman I'm sure there would be a very vigorous discussion on this issue but I feel that this story will just be allowed to die. It will be interesting to see if any Sunday newspaper covers it.
 

Mushroom

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Ex-teacher awarded €700,000 against HSE - The Irish Times - Sat, Dec 22, 2012

Story is on page 6 of the Irish Times today Saturday. Subheadings are
"Court finds inquiry into sex abuse claims conducted in 'grossly reckless' manner AND
"Man was a victim 'of targeted malice' and of a 'prejudged investigation'
I read that report last night and was puzzled by the bits that weren't included.

For example: "The former teacher was suspended on administrative leave by his school in 2006 but reinstated in 2007 after he took legal proceedings. He never returned to work"

Why not? Was he paid for doing nothing? And if so, for how long? Why is he a "former" teacher? Did his Union support him?

etc. etc.
 

RobertW

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I read that report last night and was puzzled by the bits that weren't included.

For example: "The former teacher was suspended on administrative leave by his school in 2006 but reinstated in 2007 after he took legal proceedings. He never returned to work"

Why not? Was he paid for doing nothing? And if so, for how long? Why is he a "former" teacher? Did his Union support him?

etc. etc.
If he was suspended then it should have been with pay.

He was innocent.
 

Kilbarry

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I read that report last night and was puzzled by the bits that weren't included.

For example: "The former teacher was suspended on administrative leave by his school in 2006 but reinstated in 2007 after he took legal proceedings. He never returned to work"

Why not? Was he paid for doing nothing? And if so, for how long? Why is he a "former" teacher? Did his Union support him?

etc. etc.
The following from the Irish Times may help to answer some of your questions

[Mr Justice O'Neill] was satisfied the malfeasance in public office of the HSE had the consequence of destroying irreparably the life which the teacher enjoyed in all its aspects, professional, social and domestic. While the court’s judgment must go some considerable distance in redressing the wrong done to the teacher, the life he has lost to date cannot be restored and in the future will not be adequately repaired, the judge said.

In the absence of any adequate or proper vindication of his reputation out of the HSE inquiry, the judge said the teacher will have to live with the consequences of the HSE’s wrongdoing for the remainder of his life.
 

Picasso Republic

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This is a good example of why these types of cases MUST in all cases be prosecuted by The Gardai. If the case is not brought to The Gardai then there is no case - and no case means no case.

Those in the HSE who decided to assume the role of The Gardai now need to be investigated and heads need to roll.
 

Carl Claudius

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As a teacher you are guilty until proven innocent. Until you are proven innocent your life may be destroyed. There is an unhealthy obssession with child abuse in this country.

Priests are automatically stigmatised as child abusers yet paedophilia in secular society is glossed over. When a renowned Irish poet goes to Nepal and grooms underage boys for sex nothing happens. By his logic what he did was okay, because he gave them presents. I would have thought his work would have been removed from the syllabus but no. He was defended in this country by a senator who also came out with unusual statements about paedophila and sex abuse victims, yet everyone thinks he is a great wit and the darling of the media.
 

Kilbarry

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As a teacher you are guilty until proven innocent. Until you are proven innocent your life may be destroyed. There is an unhealthy obssession with child abuse in this country.

Priests are automatically stigmatised as child abusers yet paedophilia in secular society is glossed over. When a renowned Irish poet goes to Nepal and grooms underage boys for sex nothing happens. By his logic what he did was okay, because he gave them presents. I would have thought his work would have been removed from the syllabus but no. He was defended in this country by a senator who also came out with unusual statements about paedophila and sex abuse victims, yet everyone thinks he is a great wit and the darling of the media.
"Glossed over" is correct. I thought the story was not even covered in the Irish Examiner but eventually found a short paragraph on page 10. Will the Sunday papers even mention it?

A year or 2 ago a female teacher took a case to the High Court about a similar dishonest inquiry and the judge made very similar comments about the HSE. By any chance was it the same HSE staff who carried out THIS inquiry? Certainly nobody was fired and I suspect that HSE Management didn't even bother to transfer the corrupt people responsible for the other fiasco.
 

Carl Claudius

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The Irish Times story is not particularily prominent and I see that the on-line version ommits the two sub-headings thus making it shorter still. The Irish Independent has the story at the bottom of page 26 on its Courts page and it is about half the length of the Irish Times one. It's called "Teacher awarded €700,000 for sex abuse probe failings" but I can't get it online just now.

Is this really all this story is worth? For example are the people responsible for the bogus inquiry going to lose their jobs. (Ha Ha I know the answer to that one.) Are they even going to be reprimanded? Have they conducted other sex-abuse inquiries in the past and will they be allowed to conduct them in the future?

If the media could blame the Bishops, the Banks or Businessman I'm sure there would be a very vigorous discussion on this issue but I feel that this story will just be allowed to die. It will be interesting to see if any Sunday newspaper covers it.
the spartan reporting supports the theory that the media regards teachers as overpaid layabouts.
 

Carl Claudius

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"Glossed over" is correct. I thought the story was not even covered in the Irish Examiner but eventually found a short paragraph on page 10. Will the Sunday papers even mention it?

A year or 2 ago a female teacher took a case to the High Court about a similar dishonest inquiry and the judge made very similar comments about the HSE. By any chance was it the same HSE staff who carried out THIS inquiry? Certainly nobody was fired and I suspect that HSE Management didn't even bother to transfer the corrupt people responsible for the other fiasco.
if the church had acted as the HSE did there would be outrage and it would have definitely got more media attention.
 

Kilbarry

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Female Teacher Wins Sex Abuse Case

I found the Irish Independent report about the female teacher who took a case against the HSE in 2010
Female teacher wins sex abuse case - National News - Independent.ie

A RETIRED teacher yesterday got a High Court order quashing a report by the HSE in to an allegation she sexually abused a nine-year-old pupil. It is alleged she inappropriately touched the boy when he went to the toilet on a number of occasions in the early 1990s. .... The High Court found yesterday she was not afforded fair procedures and was entitled to have her good name and right to earn a livelihood protected. .....

The woman sought declarations from the court that the HSE acted unreasonably or irrationally in the way in which the report was compiled. The HSE denied her claims and said it had a statutory duty to investigate the allegation.

The HSE's final report contained four recommendations, one of which was for the HSE to formally notify the gardai of the allegation.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Daniel O'Keefe quashed the second and final report.


My recollection is that the Irish Times report was more detailed but you need to be a subscriber to download it. Any volunteers?

What are the chances that the SAME HSE staff are responsible for BOTH dishonest reports?
 

Mushroom

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The following from the Irish Times may help to answer some of your questions

[Mr Justice O'Neill] was satisfied the malfeasance in public office of the HSE had the consequence of destroying irreparably the life which the teacher enjoyed in all its aspects, professional, social and domestic. While the court’s judgment must go some considerable distance in redressing the wrong done to the teacher, the life he has lost to date cannot be restored and in the future will not be adequately repaired, the judge said.

In the absence of any adequate or proper vindication of his reputation out of the HSE inquiry, the judge said the teacher will have to live with the consequences of the HSE’s wrongdoing for the remainder of his life.
What a genuinely idiotic post! You must have all of the intelligence of an empty can of Budweiser.

Let's try again - and this time, maybe you'd switch your brain to "on" before starting to tap out your reply:

"The former teacher was suspended on administrative leave by his school in 2006 but reinstated in 2007 after he took legal proceedings. He never returned to work"


Why not? Was this on legal advice? Did he resign?

Or, after being reinstated, was he paid (by the taxpayer) for not coming to work? And if so, for how long?

Why is he a "former" teacher?

Did his Union support him?

Your reply answers none of those questions. Repeat, none. So thanks for nothing.
 

Kilbarry

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What a genuinely idiotic post! You must have all of the intelligence of an empty can of Budweiser.

Let's try again - and this time, maybe you'd switch your brain to "on" before starting to tap out your reply:

"The former teacher was suspended on administrative leave by his school in 2006 but reinstated in 2007 after he took legal proceedings. He never returned to work"


Why not? Was this on legal advice? Did he resign?

Or, after being reinstated, was he paid (by the taxpayer) for not coming to work? And if so, for how long?

Why is he a "former" teacher?

Did his Union support him?

Your reply answers none of those questions. Repeat, none. So thanks for nothing.
You ask why did he not return to work. According to the Irish Times the judge stated that he "was satisfied the malfeasance in public office of the HSE had the consequence of destroying irreparably the life which the teacher enjoyed in all its aspects, professional, social and domestic. While the court’s judgment must go some considerable distance in redressing the wrong done to the teacher, the life he has lost to date cannot be restored and in the future will not be adequately repaired"

I put it in heavy type this time in case you didn't understand its significance last time. You really think that this is insufficient to explain why the teacher did not return to work?
 

Kilbarry

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Incidentally I think that the HSE has "qualified immunity" when carrying out investigations into allegations of child abuse. Normally the person being investigated cannot sue the HSE on grounds of negligence or incompetence. The only way that "qualified immunity" can be overturned by a judge is if he believes that the HSE behaved, not with stupidity or carelessness, but with gross dishonesty. This appears to be what happened here.
 

Mushroom

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You really think that this is insufficient to explain why the teacher did not return to work?
Of course I do! If not, then why would I have repeated my questions?

It's pretty obvious to me that you don't know the answers to my questions, which is fair enough.

But why go to the trouble of posting a non-answer twice and claiming that it is an answer? That's crazy carry-on.
 

gatsbygirl20

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What a genuinely idiotic post! You must have all of the intelligence of an empty can of Budweiser.

Let's try again - and this time, maybe you'd switch your brain to "on" before starting to tap out your reply:

"The former teacher was suspended on administrative leave by his school in 2006 but reinstated in 2007 after he took legal proceedings. He never returned to work"


Why not? Was this on legal advice? Did he resign?

Or, after being reinstated, was he paid (by the taxpayer) for not coming to work? And if so, for how long?

Why is he a "former" teacher?

Did his Union support him?

Your reply answers none of those questions. Repeat, none. So thanks for nothing.

I cannot think of anything worse that could happen in my professional life than that a false allegation of child abuse would be brought against me

It is a waking nightmare.

How could any teacher return to work in the classroom with young people whose trust (and the trust of parents) must be absolute and unequivocal, having had the whole basis of that trust destroyed?

How to face into that daily nightmare......knowing that horrific lies had been told about you, and that those lies had been believed by powerful people, ---perhaps some of them in the very school you are expected to return to, where you may have to meet them every day?

Your concern for "the taxpayer" is commendable, but compared to what this person endured, the "taxpayer" is getting off reasonably lightly.

The most important thing about the horror this person was subjected to, is not the taxpayer, or the union, or whether the person is a "former" or "ex" teacher...

This person's teaching life has been destroyed......possibly their personal life too.

Amazing the particular detail being homed in on here. In reading this OP, I confess the detail "he never returned to work" is not what first caught my attention in this story, or struck me as being the most important issue...
 

captainwillard

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I cannot think of anything worse that could happen in my professional life than that a false allegation of child abuse would be brought against me

It is a waking nightmare.

How could any teacher return to work in the classroom with young people whose trust (and the trust of parents) must be absolute and unequivocal, having had the whole basis of that trust destroyed?

How to face into that daily nightmare......knowing that horrific lies had been told about you, and that those lies had been believed by powerful people, ---perhaps some of them in the very school you are expected to return to, where you may have to meet them every day?

Your concern for "the taxpayer" is commendable, but compared to what this person endured, the "taxpayer" is getting off reasonably lightly.

The most important thing about the horror this person was subjected to, is not the taxpayer, or the union, or whether the person is a "former" or "ex" teacher...

This person's teaching life has been destroyed......possibly their personal life too.

Amazing the particular detail being homed in on here. In reading this OP, I confess the detail "he never returned to work" is not what first caught my attention in this story, or struck me as being the most important issue...
Catholic priests have been vilified by the media without any right to redress. What about their rights? Meanwhile this guy gets E700k. No wonder the country is bankrupt.
 

gatsbygirl20

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Catholic priests have been vilified by the media without any right to redress. What about their rights? Meanwhile this guy gets E700k. No wonder the country is bankrupt.
Anybody who is "vilified"--priest, teacher, sports coach (that is, falsely accused of child abuse) should have redress....not that 700K would compensate for the mental anguish endured by any honourable person tasked with the care of children, who has been accused of abusing them, and that false allegation has been believed....

Imagine living with that stain on your character, and knowing that it was a lie...and praying ,without much hope, that the truth might emerge someday

I respectfully suggest that the reason "the country is bankrupt" has little to do with compensation awarded to teachers falsely accused of child abuse.

The inability of posters on this site to put themselves in others' shoes should not shock me at this stage, but yet occasionally it does.
 

captainwillard

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Anybody who is "vilified"--priest, teacher, sports coach (that is, falsely accused of child abuse) should have redress....not that 700K would compensate for the mental anguish endured by any honourable person tasked with the care of children, who has been accused of abusing them, and that false allegation has been believed....

Imagine living with that stain on your character, and knowing that it was a lie...and praying ,without much hope, that the truth might emerge someday

I respectfully suggest that the reason "the country is bankrupt" has little to do with compensation awarded to teachers falsely accused of child abuse.

The inability of posters on this site to put themselves in others' shoes should not shock me at this stage, but yet occasionally it does.
He got too much. That 700k could have helped maybe 100 old people have respite for the next year. Instead, one man got it. Is this right?
 

gatsbygirl20

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He got too much. That 700k could have helped maybe 100 old people have respite for the next year. Instead, one man got it. Is this right?
Is there anywhere where "respite care" cannot be used to exert emotional blackmail these days?.

I was once the sole carer for a severely dependent relative

Nothing I endured could remotely be compared to having my good name stolen from me, to having a false allegation of child abuse hanging over me, to having that monstrous lie believed, to having that lie represented as truth to children and parents I had been paid to care for....to, in short, living a daily nightmare of mental torment...

No money could ever compensate me for that.

But the large sum here--in a society where money seems to be the only criterion (note how it caught the eye on this thread)---is in a way an acknowledgement of the great wrong done...

It makes some attempt to recognise the nightmare endured, whereas a smaller sum could have sent the opposite message....
 
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