Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Helplines open for abuse victims

Children's minister Frances Fitzgerald encouraged people to get in contact with counsellors and advisors

Several helplines have been opened for survivors of abuse at a Cork boarding school under investigation.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is working alongside a number of agencies to ensure people abused at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa in Carraig na bhFear have access to services.

Children's minister Frances Fitzgerald encouraged people to get in contact with counsellors and advisors. "The HSE and Gardai are continuing with their inquires on this matter," she said.

An inquiry was launched over child protection concerns at the boarding school after a Senator used parliamentary privilege to name a priest as an alleged abuser.

The joint HSE and garda probe centres on the protection and welfare of children at the school while it was run by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

Gardai have opened a dedicated telephone line - 9am to 9pm - at the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit. Anyone with information is urged to call 01 666 3395, 01 666 3430 or the Garda Confidential Line 1-800-666-111.

Alternatively survivors in need of support can call the following freephone helplines: The HSE National Counselling Service (NCS) on 1800 235 234; Harbour Counselling Service on 1800 234 116; or Cork Sexual Violence Centre (formerly Cork Rape Crisis Centre) on 1800 496 496.

They can also call Victims of Rape and Sexual Abuse on 1800 778 888; Connect on 1800 477 47; One in Four on 01 662 4070; The Samaritans on 1850 60 90 90; or Towards Healing Counselling on 1800 303 528.

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