Tag Archives: Sean Sherlock

From top: Interim CEO of Tusla Pat Smyth; Labour TD Sean Sherlock; Ian Elliott, interim Safeguarding Manager at Scouting Ireland; Katherine Zappone

On February 27 last, the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone published a four-page letter which had been sent from Tusla to Scouting Ireland on February 18.

It followed Ms Zappone announcing last December that Scouting Ireland had identified 212 alleged abusers and 317 alleged victims of abuse and this figure was likely to rise.

Tusla’s partially redacted letter referred to three lives cases, saying:

Gaps arose in three situations. In one case on cub camp, a child exposed himself and sexually assaulted children in the tent.

In another report, a child was exposing himself and behaving in a sexually in-appropriate way in front of his camp mates and in a third case, at cub camp a child was acting out a forceful sex act on other children in the tent who were afraid to sleep for fear of being assaulted themselves.

These live case examples highlight a number of areas of poor practice and have left children exposed to risk of harm.

In addition the practice by SI personnel, redacted, as Head of Safeguarding to interview children in the circumstances described above is very concerning.

The letter also criticised that a helpline set up for people to receive allegations in relation to Scouting Ireland was being manned by Scouting Ireland personnel.

It also made eight child protection recommendations to Scouting Ireland – including that Scouting Ireland should consider “the viability of continuing with overnight trips given the concerns outlined”.

Further to this…

Members of Tusla and Scouting Ireland answered questions at a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs this morning and this afternoon.

This morning, interim CEO of Tusla Pat Smyth told the committee that the letter was never meant to be made public.

In addition, Labour TD Sean Sherlock asked Ian Elliott, interim Safeguarding Manager at Scouting Ireland, about an inter-agency meeting which took place two days before Ms Zappone made this letter public – on February 25.

Mr Elliott said the meeting had been initiated by Scouting Ireland in November and it was an attempt to bring An Garda Siochana, Tusla and Scouting Ireland together – so Scouting Ireland could “actively review” the practice, co-operation and collaboration of the agencies and to give them a chance to request any further information from Scouting Ireland.

Mr Elliott said Tusla’s letter, which Scouting Ireland received on Friday, February 22, was discussed at the meeting of the February 25.

He said:

“I raised it by means of two questions which were then answered by the two agencies and in their answers, Tusla’s representatives, made reference to the letter. I actually knew that the two senior managers who were there had been copied into the letter.

“I didn’t permit too much discussion about the content of the letter…An Garda was there and I didn’t feel it was appropriate for that to happen.”

It shocked me because I thought, well, you know, on one hand, we were receiving this letter, and on the other hand, well, I’m talking to people directly and individuals copied into this letter – they’re saying ‘no, everything’s fine, we have no concerns, we have no problems, no difficulties with what you’re doing and how you’re doing it’.”

Mr Sherlock put it to Mr Elliott that when Ms Zappone published the letter two days after this meeting, on February 27, “the bombshell was dropped” publicly – despite the issues apparently having been “addressed” at the meeting of February 25.

Mr Elliott agreed and said “that’s why the meeting was set up”.

He also said that he spoke with members of An Garda Siochana “at a very senior level” to ask if they were “absolutely satisfied” with how Scouting Ireland was operating and the “quality of information” that was going to the gardai.

Mr Elliott said: “I was assured that was the case.”

He added: “I don’t understand what has happened. If I could mention this. I think it’s important. If you’re going to criticise the practice of an individual in relation to safeguarding, then you need to have solid evidence.

“You need to actually examine either the case record or talk to the individuals involved in the practice… but none of that happened.”

Mr Elliott went on to tell Mr Sherlock that no case record has been examined by Tusla and no staff member of Scouting Ireland has been interviewed by Tusla.

Mr Sherlock said Mr Elliott’s comments have “thrown up a whole new can of worms”.

The TD said: “We had Tusla earlier on and we had a version of events, we have Scouting Ireland’s interpretation of events now and I just think it throws up a whole set of new questions…And there are now questions to be asked of department officials and the minister I think in respect of the matter arising out of the evidence we’ve just heard here.”

Watch the committee’s proceedings live here

Legacy of historic child sexual abuse in scouts ‘very painful truth’ (Jack Power, The Irish Times)

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sinead1 sinead2sinead3


[Sinead Ryan – Irish Independent and Sinead O’Carroll of thejournal.ie]

Minister of State Séan Sherlock in a late night tweet to journalist Sinead Ryan.

As seen on last night’s ‘Tonight with Vincent Browne’, Irish Independent journalist Sinead Ryan quoted from the Irish Examiner.

Seán Sherlock’s quotes came from his appearance on yesterday’s Six One News.


Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

pirateIt’s official.

The Pirate Bay this morning following the EMI/Sony/Warners decision.

It’s that statutory instrument  signed into law last year by Innovation Minister Sean Sherlock (when he didn’t have to).

Giving court judges powers to grant injunctions against ISPs.

Jesustonight writes:

We’ve been keelhauled. Good while it lasted.

Meanwhile, last year


But enough about the cabinet.

Sean Sherlock, Labour’s science ‘n’ internet community-splitting junior minister for Research and Innovation sat down with Maria Delaney of Science Calling blog recently.

Listen here (at 11)

He can’t really be that obnoxious, can he?

Gave us a bad turn just listening to it.

Thanks Dara O’Riordan

Opening Science Week on Monday were from left: Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of  Science Foundation Ireland and Sean Sherlock.junior minister with responsibility for research and innovation.

By Dan Boyle

The decision of the government to get rid of the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser, and have that advice in the future come from Science Foundation Ireland, seems a decision that has little to do with logic.

It’s a decision born of the shiny bauble approach to science. In philosophical terms Science Foundation Ireland, in its structure and in its methods of working, is often more concerned with activities that acheieve a bigger buck than a bigger bang.

Of course economic impact of research is important but with Science Foundation Ireland it seems to be the near total focus of its being.

A well funded creature of the Celtic Tiger from the time it was believed that if you threw enough money at something it was bound to work, Science Foundation Ireland hasn’t exactly inspired confidence since, nor has it gained the right to have such confidence placed in it in the future.

Being committed to Mammon has created numerous conflicts of interests for the agency. It isn’t possible to fund and promote on largely economic grounds while simultaneously be responsible for putting place ethical standards while advising the policy making process.

This is also a decision that’s at odds with the need to have more cost effective State bodies. The existing structure of the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (ACSTI)  with Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser, instead of Science Foundation Ireland, would be a far better approach.

But then that might be too logical.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator

Previously: Government Abolishes Scientific Advisor Post (RTE)

Merging Of Science Roles Could Mean Conflict Of Interest (Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, October 31)

The Downside Of Austerity Hits Irish Scientists (John Farrell, Forbes)

The Business Of Science In Ireland (Broadsheet, July 10)

Science Week 2012

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)

Brian Flannery, on Indymedia, writes:

“Some months ago a friend of mine, a journalist in Manchester asked me if I had any idea what was going in the SFI (Science Foundation Ireland). I replied ‘not a clue’.

{He] came to visit the weekend just gone and gave me an insight as to how people in Manchester view, with anger, the appointment of  Renovo’s Mark Ferguson (right) as Director General of SFI.

My facts state and these can be checked out by going on Google and looking up Renovo that this company had Stg1 million wiped of its value last year and that shareholders sustained a 75% loss in share price which I have no sympathy for because they took a gamble.

However 200 people lost their jobs in Renovo and I have the deepest sympathy for them.

My friend informed me that Mr. Ferguson was told by the Minister Sean Sherlock (above) and a Mr. Travers, a member of the Board of SFI that he had the job on the 23/12/2011 yet he was still Chairman of the fast ailing Renovo plc….”

More here: Secrets Of Cronyism In Semi-State Sector (Brian Flannery, Indymedia)

Previously: Science Foundation Ireland, the Director General and the Renovo Debacle (Network For irish Educational Standards, May 22, 2012)

Pic via PMBRC

At today’s Irish Digital Forum at The Science Gallery were from top: Sean Sherlock (junior minister for jobs and innovation), Simon McGarr (solicitor, Stop Sopa Ireland Campaign), Tom Murphy (Boards.ie) and Paul Durrant (Internet Service Providers’ Association of Ireland).

Sean Sherlock: “If you look at question 86 of the Copyright Review Committee, it says ‘have we missed anything?’, is the question. ‘What have we missed?’ That opens up a space for anybody to make a submission on anything relating to issues not covered by the questions. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a technical knowledge around the questions because not everybody does, including myself if I’m honest about it. People may laugh but I, you know, not everyone is going to have a complete deep knowledge about the 86 questions that apply here.”

Simon McGarr: “But that’s exactly what you’ve suggested people do if they want to express their opinion. That they plough through those 86 questions. You haven’t done them yourself?

Sherlock: “No, I, I, I have.

McGarr: “Have you answered them?

Sherlock: “No, no, I have looked at the questions..

McGarr: “Can we see? Can we correct them?

Sherlock: “You see, I think, I don’t mind people being facetious, you know, you can be facetious if you want to be Simon, OK?”

McGarr: “I’m always facetious.”

Sherlock: “Well it doesn’t become you, right? And let’s…”

McGarr: “No that is a real question because minister that’s the question that you responded to people with when you, when after you signed this SI [Statutory Instrument]. You said that people should go now and participate…”

Sherlock: “I think you should tone it down. I think you should tone it down.”

McGarr: “People should participate…”

Sherlock: “I think you should tone it down.”

McGarr [to Tom Murphy]: “Do you? Do you think I should tone it down?”

Murphy: “Yes I think you should tone it down.”

McGarr: “OK, right, I’m too loud. Apologies.”

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