Child sexual abuse survivors are devastated after deciding not to prosecute 25 cases linked to Michael Shine


Survivors of child sexual abuse said they were devastated after the DPP decided not to pursue the 25 lawsuits filed with Gardai in connection with retired medical adviser Michael Shine.

r Shine, 89, who worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, was released from prison earlier this year after serving three years on charges of indecent and sexual assault on boys.

The Dignity4Patients group, which represents the victim, said 25 other cases were not being followed up.

Chief Executive Adrienne Reilly said: “Dignity4Patients is deeply concerned by the decision by the Chief Attorney General not to prosecute 25 sexual abuse cases.”

“Sixteen of these victim survivors are being supported by Dignity4 Patients.

“This decision was based on the cumulative factors of delay, the cognitive and physical health of the defendant, age and the historical nature of the allegations, which were made in conjunction with a decision by the Court of Appeals last year.”

She added: “In the law, age, health and lapse of time are no bar to avoiding prosecution in such cases.

“This decision by the chief prosecutor to rely heavily on the Court of Appeals ruling, which addressed an entirely different issue of ‘delay’, leaves all victims of sexual abuse by Michael Shine and others vulnerable to never having justice served becomes.

“That kind of interpretation is simply unacceptable.”

She said that the lack of trauma-aware staff at An Garda Síochána and the understaffing of both the Gardaí and the Director of Public Prosecutions have resulted in totally inappropriate or delayed communication with the victims and survivors.

“One victim said the unexpected call from the Gardaí informing him of the DPP decision was very strange… when he received the call while working with no assistance and no further assistance from them, he immediately had to stop work and lie down and was only able to go home when he had recovered … he explained that it was not normal for him to have such episodes and it was difficult to go back to work every day afterwards.

She said, “Any victim who reports sexual abuse has the right to be heard and treated with sensitivity and dignity.”

Another victim said to have been notified by the Gardai that the case would not be pursued by the DPP was conveyed in such a way that he felt the guard would “simply cancel a dinner reservation” and had little understand the impact of this decision on him.

Ms Reilly said: “While we have spoken to the Gardai and know that none of this was intentional, it wasn’t meant to happen like that, it’s not victim-centred at all.

“They were very honest and told me they just don’t have the resources to educate people in the way they would like and they’re not trauma trained.”

She said that, given the DPP decision, decades of delays in civil proceedings and the seeming hope that prosecutions will be nullified, Dignity4Patients, on behalf of all victims and survivors, is calling on the government and the Secretary of Health and Justice to immediately set up a commission of inquiry into sexual abuse of patients in the Irish healthcare system.

“This investigation should include allegations of decades of abuse and inadequate protection by institutions and organizations responsible for patient welfare and safety. “ Child sexual abuse survivors are devastated after deciding not to prosecute 25 cases linked to Michael Shine

Fry Electronics Team

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