Politicians react to the shocking cruelty and wilful neglect inflicted on children revealed by the documentary 'States of Fear'.
The first episode of 'States of Fear' was broadcast on 27 April 1999. The series dealt with the abuse inflicted on children within the childcare system over decades. Public outrage at the revelations in the programme regarding institutional childcare was reflected during the order of business in Dáil Éireann the following day.
Socialist deputy Joe Higgins called for the state to compensate the victims. Leader of the Labour Party Ruairi Quinn called for a collective cross party apology in the Dáíl
Speaking in the Dáil Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said,
We have never as a society dealt with these things.
Minister for Education Micheál Martin says it is time that the full truth about the institutions is told.
I am not in the business of defending the indefensible. I am not in the business of hiding anybody or protecting anybody. I think it is time that the shutters were pulled up.
'States of Fear' producer Mary Raftery says the series looks at,
What is a very disturbing picture that remains throughout the 1970s 1980s and right into the 1990s of abusive practices within residential childcare. Practices which essentially remain covered up. Secrecy remains and continues to operate in this context.
This episode of 'The Week In Politics' was broadcast on 1 May 1999. The presenter is Caroline Erskine.