Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath is calling for vulnerable children in care in Ireland to be given urgent protection. The Tipperary TD made the call as research from UCD says such children are clearly being targeted for sexual exploitation and abuse by predatory men.
The UCD study highlights cases where girls in the care of Tusla, the State’s child and family agency, were “being coerced or enticed to provide sex acts to multiple men in exchange for a variety of goods” including clothes and jewellery.
The report expressed fears that sexual exploitation of children is going “under the radar” in Ireland.
The new report, funded by Community Foundation Ireland, and carried out by University College Dublin’s (UCD), details cases of girls in care in Ireland being taken to hotels by men to be sexually abused and exploited, with both professionals and hoteliers feeling unable to properly identify or stop the exploitation.
The researchers want an immediate investigation into the exploitation by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) which oversees Tusla services.