25th June 2012
IPRT welcomes that the Ombudsman for Children will be empowered to receive, investigate and respond to individual complaints made by children held in St Patrick's Institution from 1st July 2012. IPRT has long been campaigning for such an extension to the Ombudsman's remit, as have the Children's Rights Alliance and other advocates for the rights of all children.
On Friday 22nd June, 2012 the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms Frances Fitzgerald TD and the Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Alan Shatter TD, signed an Order removing the subsection from the Ombudsman for Children Act 2002 which excluded children detained in St Patrick's Institution from the complaints remit of the Ombudsman for Children. The order comes into effect from 1st July, 2012.
It follows on from recent announcements by Minister Fitzgerald that the detention of children in St Patrick's Institution will end within 2 years, with no new commitals of 16-year olds to the institution from 1st May 2012.