Over 2,000 people have signed a book of solidarity for the victims of abuse in Ireland in the Mansion House in Dublin.

The city's Lord Mayor, Eibhlin Byrne, said she had been approached throughout the city by people wishing to express their solidarity with those who had suffered abuse as children.

This comes as the former Fianna Fáil minister who brokered the deal between the State and Catholic religious orders on child abuse compensation defended the 2002 agreement.

Dr Michael Woods' comments came as opposition pressure mounted yesterday for a review of the deal, which capped the orders' liability at €128m.

Meanwhile, the Opposition has been accused of using the report of the Commission on Child Abuse for political gain.

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív said the Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, was making a party political issue out of the trauma of people affected by the shameful and terrible events uncovered by the Commission.

Earlier, Mr Kenny said an apparent difference of opinion between Fianna Fáil and the Green Party on the possible re-examination of the abuse compensation deal with the religious orders was another example of a lack of consistency within the coalition.


The HSE offers a free National Counselling Service for anyone who has suffered childhood abuse on 1800 235 234.

The related Connect service, for out of hours contact, is on 1800 235 235 from the Republic of Ireland (freephone)
00800 235 235 55 from Britain and Northern Ireland (free from landlines). www.connectcounselling.ie

National 24hr Helpline for Rape and Sexual Abuse

1800-331234 / 0800-973272 (NI & Britain)

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy
1800-303174 or 0808-2342816 (NI & Britain)

Right of Place

1800-331234 / 0800-973272 (NI & Britain)
(Open Mondays and Wednesdays 11am - 8pm, Fridays 11am to 4pm)

If callers leave a message and a contact number - the call will be returned as soon as possible.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
1800-778888 (24hr)