The Minister for Justice has held a preliminary discussion with the Attorney General on progressing a Commission of Inquiry into how State Agencies handled the cases of those abused by Waterford paedophile Bill Keneally.
The Department of Justice said its officials will work with the Attorney General’s office “to identify a methodology to allow for the early establishment of the Commission of Investigation in such a way as not to prejudice any ongoing criminal investigations”.
The statement continues: “The Minister is acutely aware of the pain and suffering that has been endured by the survivors of the abuse of Bill Kenneally. Once a clear, workable, legally sound path to the establishment of the Commission is agreed with the Attorney General’s Office, the Minister will seek to meet with the victims to brief them on the new proposals and to hear their views”.
The move has been welcomed by Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin, but he said the meeting with victims should happen within the next two weeks.
Deputy Howlin said: “I wrote last week to both Minister for Justice Flanagan and the Taoiseach asking that they meet with the victims and the Attorney General to find a way to address the Minister’s concerns.
“I am delighted that the Minister has now opened discussions with the Attorney General and has agreed to meet with the victims. It is now essential that this meeting happens quickly, and certainly within the next two weeks.”
Meanwhile, Waterford Council will hear a motion at its Plenary Council meeting this evening calling for the Commission of Investigation to begin without further delay.
Motion in the name of Cllr. Declan Clune
“That Waterford City & County Council calls on the Minister for Justice, Mr Charlie Flanagan, to commence without further delay the Commission of Investigation into the alleged cover up of sex crimes by paedophile Bill Kenneally”
Reg. No. 89 (dated 1st January, 2018)
Wexford Council unanimously supported a similar motion earlier this week.