Report highlights need for Child Rescue System

David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Justice Committee was pleased to launch the Committee’s report on Missing Persons last week. The report followed a series of Committee hearings, which invited groups involved in searches for missing persons and assistance for families affected, to discuss what can be done at national level to increase levels of help and support with missing person cases.

“I would hope that our Committee Report will make a meaningful contribution to help raise public awareness and public assistance in searching for those who have gone missing and in supporting families and friends,” said Deputy Stanton.

“The Committee strongly backs suggestions that were made to by groups to help achieve this and we are very aware of the need to explore further how to help and support families and those left behind. The never ending deep trauma, worry and sense of loss arising from not knowing how or why a loved one has gone missing, what has happened to him or to her, whether he or she is still alive or not was appreciated by all other Committee Members.

“The report recommends the establishment of a single helpline, Child Rescue Ireland, for those wishing to report a missing person. This would be similar to the internationally recognised amber alert system which will be used ‘when a child has been abducted and there is a reasonable suspicion of an immediate and serious risk to his or her health or welfare’. This telephone line should be staffed by fully trained personnel who can make the appropriate initial enquiries to allow quick commencement of any investigation.

“The Committee also believes that a national forum consisting of Gardaí, relevant State bodies and recognised NGOs that work in the area of missing persons should be established to ensure a viable, agreed and co-ordinated response system is put in place. Other key recommendations included the possible involvement of mobile phone service providers in the provision of an alert system for missing persons; a public information process, and the establishment of a National Missing Persons Day.

“During the hearings, I was particularly pleased to welcome the contribution from Davis College, Mallow, Co Cork. Students from this college undertook the very successful ‘Forget Me Not’ campaign as part of their transition year project to raise awareness of the issue of missing persons in Ireland. These students recently won first place at the National Final of the Young Social Innovators Awards, and have worked hard to have a National Missing Persons Day established which I believe the Minister for Justice is considering.

To view David Stanton TD, Committee Chairman discussing the report:

To view the Committee’s full report click on the following link: