HomeUncategorizedScoping Inquiry into Historical Religious Order Sexual Abuse Claims – Recent Developments

Scoping Inquiry into Historical Religious Order Sexual Abuse Claims – Recent Developments

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On 7th March 2023, the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, introduced a scoping inquiry into historical sexual abuse in schools managed by religious orders.  The inquiry will comprise of a report and inputs from experts who are specialised in areas such as child protection and survivor engagement. At the end of the inquiry, the report and recommendations for next steps will be presented to Ms Foley.

Extension to the Inquiry

The deadline for submission of the report was initially 7th November 2023, but that deadline has now been extended to 7th June 2024. The reason for the extension is due to the unexpected influx of survivors who have come forward to share their experiences. The inquiry team have stated that they must give “the fullest of time and attention” to each person who has come forward. While this news will come as a disappointment to many survivors who have already been engaged within this process for many years, the inquiry team have emphasised that it is important to hear all survivors and to “do justice to the information that has been gathered”.

Survivor Focused Inquiry

At the centre of the inquiry, of course, is the survivors, and there has been emphasis placed on survivor engagement. As well as hearing the experiences of the survivors, the inquiry team also want to hear the survivors’ views and recommendations which will be submitted to Ms Foley for consideration. Furthermore, the survivors will have access to facilitators trained in trauma-informed practice and the engagement will take many forms such as facilitated workshops and individual engagement.


In conclusion, the extension to the inquiry has been perceived as disappointing for some survivors who have been waiting a long time for answers. However, it is hoped that the extension will lead to a more detailed and thorough report.

For Further Information 

Lavelle Partners are currently acting for several clients in relation to historic child sexual abuse cases. Please call 01 644 5800 in the strictest confidence or email law@lavellepartners.ie if you would like to discuss a possible case.