The Commission of Investigation sought by survivors of convicted paedophile Bill Kenneally has taken a significant step forward in the wake of a meeting Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan held with survivors on Thursday last.
Speaking to The Munster Express following the meeting, which was held at the Department of Justice, survivor Colin Power said he was “pleased and surprised” in equal measure by the outcome of the discussions held with Minister Flanagan.
“We went into the meeting with a draft of the Terms of Reference (for the proposed Commission) which had been given to our solicitor, Darragh Mackin, and we wouldn’t have been too happy with them,” he admitted.
“Our perception, up to last Thursday, was that Minister Flanagan had been holding up the investigation, and that’s something we would have said quite openly, that things had been continuously stalled over the past two years. We’d been 10 months waiting to meet him (since his appointment) so that frustration was made plain by us at the start of the meeting, which was quite stormy initially because he was defending his position, after which we’d stated our own position.”
Mr Power added: “But I was amazed, when everything calmed down, with the progress that had been made on the Terms of Reference, and we left that meeting, in my view, with the Terms of Reference which we’ve been looking for, for quite some time, 99 per cent there, and I’d expect those to be agreed over the next week.”
In a Tweet following the meeting, Minister Flanagan stated: “I want a robust and strong Commission of Investigation into Waterford sexual abuse established & working effectively & independently under Judge Barry Hickson without delay