FAILURE TO PROTECT: Are children being left in the hands of sexual abusers?
12 Backers raised €425 of €1850

Most cases of child sexual violence in Ireland are perpetrated by a family member. Yet, only 4% of cases reported to gardaí are prosecuted.

Almost 12,000 cases involving guardianship, custody and access are processed by the Family Court Services annually, with many carrying allegations of sexual and domestic violence. Despite this, there is no gathering of data and no statistics regarding the number of cases that include such allegations.

Our investigation will examine if adequate protections are in place for children both in the home and through custody arrangements.


In 2019, the government rapporteur on child protection said there was a distinct lack of provision in Ireland for children to be heard. We will find out if anything has been done by the court system to improve this.

A new law, introduced in November 2023, allows information to be released on sex offenders and warn people of their presence. However, this information can only be released in limited circumstances, and there is currently no law that requires people with previous convictions to reveal their past to those they live with.

The government is currently in the process of modernising family justice. Our reporters will speak to experts who understand the system, as well as people who have gone through it, to find out what needs to change.

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Find out how we work here. Our investigations are sourced from and crowdfunded by the public.

12 Backers raised €425 of €1850
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