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One in Four seeks immediate action from Government to bring about an end to the hunger strike of Tom Sweeney.

“It is unthinkable that any member of the Oireacthas with any moral conscience could leave Leinster House today while a man placed in state care as a boy, lies dying outside. It must be repugnant to any citizen of this state that a fellow citizen could die outside the home of our democracy as those elected to represent the people return to their constituencies for the weekend”.  Colm O' Gorman, Director, One in Four.

Now on the 22nd day of his hunger strike, Mr Sweeney’s health is deteriorating rapidly. He is now unable to retain liquids and has not eaten for over three weeks. That Mr Sweeney should have ever had to resort to such drastic measures in an attempt to achieve justice is disgraceful. That this situation has not been resolved in twenty two days is shameful.

The abuse of children in institutional care in Ireland must count as the most appalling human rights scandal in the history of this state. Five years on from the Taoiseach’s apology to victims of abuse, it is indicative of the gross failure of the systems put in place by the state and the church to respond to this scandal that a fifty seven year old grandfather is starving himself to death outside of our national parliament.

The reasons for his action and the need to address those reasons must be examined in detail but the immediate response must now be to act to prevent the death of Mr Sweeney. It is within the power of Government to resolve this situation. Sensible proposals have been put to Government that could bring an immediate end to Mr Sweeney’s hunger strike. We would urge the Minister for Education and Science, and An Taoiseach to act immediately to prevent a fatal outcome. It is unthinkable that Mr Sweeney could die outside of the Dáil because of the failure of those elected to represent the citizens of this state to intervene.


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