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The Commission Final Report is now available to download.

Download the CICA Section 22 Protected Disclosure Act Annual Report 2014-19
Download the CICA Section 22 Protected Disclosure Act Annual Report 2020

Confidential Committee

Freedom of Information Act 2014

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View further information about the Act and how to make a request here.

Office of the Information Commissioner



09th April, 2020

Statement of Chairperson

Norah Gibbons played a huge role in the work of CICA from the beginning. She was a driving force in the Confidential Committee serving as Chair and contributed greatly to the Commission overall. Her major impact on our investigations was only one element of the extensive child and social care responsibilities Norah undertook.

Norah was hard-working and dedicated and she was a pleasure to work with as a colleague. I know that the other Commissioners and the staff of CICA share my deep sadness at her loss and join me in sending condolences to Norah's family.


25th November, 2019

Statement of Chairperson

The Commission’s report published in May 2009 contains a seriously erroneous statistic according to the general agreement of relevant experts and bodies. In two places it states that the total number of children who were admitted to Industrial Schools between 1936 and 1970 was approximately 170,000. See Volume 1 Chapter 3 Page 41 and the Report at Volume 5 Chapter 2 – Gateways – page 52 Table 1.

The Commission has had correspondence disputing this total and citing the work of Prof Eoin O’Sullivan among others. The chairperson has consulted Prof O’Sullivan, Prof David Gwynn Morgan, the Department of Education and Skills and the other Commissioners and is of the view that the number stated in the report is not correct.

It appears that the total given in the report was derived by adding the yearly figures for the population in the institutions but that did not take account of the fact that children were counted in each year of detention.

The statistics provided by the Department cover the period from 1930 and extend beyond 1970 because some institutions continued to operate. They also refer to Reformatories as well as Industrial Schools.

While it is not possible to establish a precise figure, the Department’s calculation of the number of children in Industrial Schools and Reformatories from 1930-1970 and beyond is approximately 42,000 or somewhat higher. The statistical information from the Department appears below.

The chairperson has directed that this statement appear on the Commission’s website.

The Chairperson is happy to acknowledge the role of Dr. Niall Meehan, Faculty Head, Journalism and Media, Griffith College Dublin in raising this issue with the Secretary to the Commission and precipitating the steps that led to the publication of the corrective material.


Department of Education Information

Through its annual statistical reports, the Department of Education published data on the number of committals to and discharges from industrial schools and reformatories – see table N following. 
With the exception of deaths that occurred while resident in an institution, children committed to an industrial school or a reformatory and who survived would eventually be discharged from that institution. It seems reasonable to assume, therefore, that looking at the number of children discharged from the institutions should equate fairly closely to the number of individuals who passed through the schools.
It is noted that there would be a certain element of double counting because of:-
a) The number of children who may have been committed to reformatories on more than one occasion;
b) The number of children discharged from one residential institution who may have been admitted to another institution or transferred there on the closure of some institutions.

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Table No N: No of children discharged from reformatories and industrial schools between the 1930s and 1970s.   Source: Department of Education Annual Statistical reports.[1]



Industrial Schools




Industrial Schools

























































































































Table No N: Total number of discharges between the 1930s up to 1970


Industrial Schools





As the format of the statistical report changed during the 1970s, the population of the schools, which was well in decline by then, is given as an estimate only.
The 1969/70 statistical report stated that there were 117 children in reformatory schools at the start of the school year and 1,513 children in industrial schools.  Instead of exact figures, a conservative estimate of the number of children who were committed in the 1970s is 1,500 based on an average number of 150 committals per year.
It would add over 3,000 to the number of children who had been through either the Industrial or reformatory school system bringing the numbers close to 42,000.
It should be noted that the scheduled institutions which eventually came within the ambit of the Redress Scheme included institutions which were not industrial or reformatory schools: for example, orphanages. 
There are no population statistics available for such institutions. However, it is known that the bulk of applicants to the Redress Board came from industrial and reformatory schools. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the figure of 42,000 children will be somewhat understated as a result.

11th March, 2014

Statement of Chairperson, Mr. Justice Sean Ryan on news of the death of Ms. Christine Buckley, institutional abuse campaigner and co-founder of the Aislinn Centre

“I am greatly saddened to learn of the death of Ms Christine Buckley. Her contribution to the understanding of institutional abuse of children going back for so many years cannot be overestimated. At considerable personal cost she brought to public attention some of the most painful and disreputable wrongs that happened to children with the authority of the State. She was an indefatigable champion of those who were abused as children and disbelieved as adults. Ms Buckley worked tirelessly over many years to achieve justice and she leaves a legacy of achievement. The nation owes her an enormous debt of gratitude and respect. 

On a personal level, Ms Buckley was a pleasure to meet and to deal with. In difficult and sensitive circumstances in the Child Abuse Commission, she always behaved in a most courteous and professional manner. 

My deepest sympathies go to Ms Buckley’s family on their loss.”

23rd August, 2012

Vaccine Trials records dismantlement

The Commission has commenced the administrative process that will lead to its eventual closure.

One of the initial stages of this process is the dismantlement of the records of the Vaccine Trials Division of the Commission whose work ceased in 2003 following a High Court ruling that the work of the Division was ultra vires the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Act 2000.

A key element of this dismantlement process is the return of records supplied to the Vaccine Trials Division to their original sources. The Commission has commenced this process.

13th July, 2011

Settlement of 3rd Party Legal Representation Costs

The Commission wishes to notify all parties who may be entitled to legal representation costs, for matters which were the subject of inquiry by its Investigation Committee, that the deadline for submission of fees, from their legal representatives, is Friday, 28 October, 2011.

After this time, no costs will be considered or processed by the Commission, which is the statutory body with sole authority in these matters.

The Commission has taken this decision in order to facilitate the timely completion of its work and so it can plan, accordingly, for adequate resources to meet any outstanding liabilities. The Costs Team will write this week to all solicitors on record with it, if costs have not yet been settled, to advise of this decision.

The Commission published its report in May 2009 and before and since then, has settled legal costs as it went along. As such, ample time has been allowed to all parties to formulate their reasonable costs.

22nd June, 2010
Commission Report in Irish Sign Language

Extracts from the Commission's Report, as well as the Executive Summary, are now available in Irish Sign Language. The Report is on DVD and a copy of same can be obtained from the "Catholic Institute for Deaf People", or from the "Irish Deaf Society". This version of the Report contains the Commission's findings in relation to the following institutions:

Mary Immaculate School for Deaf Children, Beechpark
St. Mary's School for Deaf Girls, Cabra
St. Joseph's School for Deaf Boys, Cabra

To obtain a copy, please contact Mr. Liam O'Dwyer of the Catholic Institute for Deaf People, at (01) 8300 522 or via their website -, or Ms. Pauline McMahon of Deaf Communications Ltd., at (086) 257 3366, or via their website -

4th December, 2009

The Commission has been advised by the Catholic Institute for Deaf People that due to unforeseen difficulties, the proposed extract of the Commission's Report, in Irish Sign Language, will not be completed until end-December or early-January of next year. Any further updates on this will be posted to our website but queries should be addressed to the Institute.

1st October, 2009

To request copies of the Commission's Report, please send an e-mail, using the webmaster address on our website, or phone the Commission at Dublin (+01) 662 4444. In the alternative, "Government Publications" in Dublin has copies available and can be contacted at Dublin (+01) 647 6879.

9th September, 2009


The Commission is working with the “Catholic Institute for Deaf People” to produce relevant extracts from its report, as well as the Executive Summary, in Irish Sign Language. The purpose is to assist the deaf community access information about the Commission’s findings in relation to children who were hearing impaired and in residential institutions during the relevant period. It is expected that this version of the Report, on disk, will be available from end-November 2009. All queries in relation to this should be directed to Mr. Liam O’Dwyer at the Institute.
Contact details for the Institute are:

Ph: (01) 8300 522



12th June, 2009

The Commission is now closed. There will be no further inquiries into the allegations already made or into new allegations that might have fallen within the Commission's remit. A small quota of staff remain to deal with outstanding administrative issues only.

29th May, 2009

The Commission has been inundated with requests for its report. Extra copies have been ordered to meet the demand and as soon as they become available, we will deal with those requests. Copies are available from the Government Publications Office, in Dublin.

In the meantime, if you feel you need support, or need to talk to someone about issues within the report, you can call one of the following numbers. All, other than the UK number, are freephone:

  • 1800 234 110   Dublin North
  • 1800 234 111   Dublin South, Wicklow
  • 1800 234 112   Dublin South West
  • 1800 234 113   Midlands
  • 1800 234 115   Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary
  • 1800 234 119   Donegal/North
  • 1800 234 118   Waterford, Kilkenny, Tipperary South
  • 1800 234 114   West
  • 1800 234 116   Cork, Kerry
  • 1800 234 117   Border area

  • 0044 207 2727906   U.K.
20th May 2009
Commission Report

The Commission Report is now available to download.

Note: The HTML versions of the report have been modified to ensure compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Version 2. However, there are many photos in the document that do not have alternate text descriptions. These descriptions will be made available soon.

20th May 2009
Commission Report

There will be limited copies of the Commission's Report, in both hard and soft copy, available from the Ballroom on the ground floor of the Conrad Hotel, on Earlsfort Terrace, from 3 - 4pm on Wednesday 20th May.

As there is a limited number of Reports available, they will be given out on a first come first served basis. Charges may apply.


16th May 2009
Commission Report

The Commission’s Report will be published at 2.30pm on Wednesday, 20th May, 2009. The Report and Executive Summary will be posted to our website at that time. The Report, in hard copy, will consist of 5 volumes and will also be available on a single disk. Any further updates will be posted to our website.

For those who require it, the Executive Summary, in audio format, will be available on request from Wednesday 20th May.

The Commission will make the Report and the Executive Summary available on its website in a format for the visually impared. This format will be compatable with screen reading software and adaptive technology following the W3C guidelines.

The Commission’s offices will close to the public from 2.30pm on 20th May 2009. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the Report please click the link below.

If you are an applicant to either the Commission’s Investigation or Confidential Committee a copy of the Report will be provided free of charge. Witnesses to the Confidential Committee who previously expressed an interest in receiving a copy of the Confidential Committee report, are still entitled to copies of the rest of the report. Please use the link below to register your interest.

If you are not an applicant a charge may apply. The Report, in both formats, will be available for purchase, from the date of publication, at Government Publications Sale Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

Applicants to the Confidential Committee may choose between a hard copy of the Confidential Committee volume only or the complete Commission Report in disk format. Please indicate in your email which you would prefer.


Due to its size it will only be possible to post copies of the Report in disk format. If a hard copy is requested, a member of staff will contact you to make arrangements for collection, as the Commission’s offices will be closed.

To request a copy of the Commission’s Report please click here: Email link to request the Report

29th April 2009


The Investigation Committee and Confidential Committee of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse have prepared their reports and presented them to the Commission.

Consequently, the Commission expects to publish its report on Wednesday, 20th May. Any changes regarding the proposed date of publication will be posted to the Commission's website.

Please click hereif you require some general information about the Commission.

Brenda McVeigh
Secretary to the Commission

21st January 2009


The Commission is finalising its report which is expected to consist of five volumes plus appendices and which will be published, somewhat later than the Commissioners hoped, in mid to late May, 2009.

The work of the Commission has taken longer than expected.

The Commission has asked the Government to extend the time for publishing the report to the 31st May 2009 and is confident that this deadline will be met. If it is possible to bring the publication date forward, that will be done but it would be unrealistic to expect much earlier availability.

The Commission was not able until now to make accurate predictions about printing and publication.

The Commissioners are very conscious of the importance and urgency of the report and they appreciate the patience shown by participants and by the public and their understanding of the difficulty and complexity of the Commission's undertaking.

There will be no significant extra cost because of the extension of time.

29th May 2008

*If interested in reviewing transcripts from public hearings of the Commission's Investigation Committee, please note that these have been moved to the "public hearings" tab above.


Section 20A(2) of the “Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Act 2000” (as amended), provides that “the Commission may pay such reasonable costs arising out of the [3 rd party legal] representation…to the person so represented, as are agreed between the Commission and that person…”.

It is the Commission’s position that the Act of 2000 only allows for settlement of 3 rd party legal representation costs that accrued since the establishment date of the Commission.

Currently, the Commission is engaged in settling the legal representation costs of the persons referred to in section 20A of the Act.
The Commission considers costs submitted by solicitors and counsel who have acted for complainants or respondents, including
those of the witnesses who attended at the Commission’s “Investigation Committee” proceedings. There are no legal
representation costs for witnesses who have attended the Commission’s “Confidential Committee”.

However, it is open to the Chairperson of the Commission to hold further hearings if it is deemed necessary in order to complete
the work of the Investigation Committee. Therefore, the Commission reserves the right to settle 3 rd party legal representation
costs, only at the point it considers a matter “closed”.

With reference to Section 20A of the 2000 Act, once the Commission has decided, in principle, to pay a particular set of fees,
it is statutorily bound to pay only what is reasonable in relation to the legal representation of a person. Full and final settlement
of the fees will be agreed with a client’s solicitor (or be subject to taxation), after the Commission’s Costs Team, including its
Legal Costs Accountant, has extensively scrutinized the work undertaken by the legal representatives. As such, but without
interfering in the solicitor/client relationship, the Commission considers that once those fees have been accepted by the solicitor,
no further costs should accrue to the person.

Any questions on the subject of the 3 rd party legal representation costs should be addressed, via your solicitor, to the
Secretary of the Commission.

29th November 2006

Investigation Committee Public Hearing

Single Transcript of daily Session (pdf)

23rd November 2006

The Investigation Committee of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, proposes to hold a public hearing, on Wednesday 29 November, 2006, in relation to production, by the Christian Brothers, of documents referred to in "Phase III" of the Investigation Comittee's hearings. However, this date/time is subject to last minute change.

The venue for the hearing is the Mezzanine Suite, Herbert Park Hotel, Embassy House, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. The hearing will commence at 10am and further details of the location can be obtained at

Brother Seamus Nolan of the Christian Brothers has been called to give evidence at the hearing.

Transcripts from the hearing will be posted to the Commission's website, as soon as available.

If you have any further queries in relation to this matter, I can be contacted by e-mail.

Brenda McVeigh
Secretary to the Commission

20th June 2006

Investigation Committee Public Hearing: ISPCC

Single Transcript of daily Session (pdf): Plain Text

19th June 2006

Investigation Committee Public Hearing: Department of Justice, Equality and Law reform/Department of Health and Children

Morning Transcript Session (pdf): Plain Text

This transcript has been edited by order of the Chairperson of the Commission.

Afternoon Transcript Session (pdf): Plain Text

13th June 2006

Investigation Committee Public Hearing: Department of Education and Science

Single Transcript of daily Session (pdf): Plain Text

12th June 2006

Investigation Committee Public Hearing: Department of Education and Science

Single Transcript of daily Session (pdf): Plain Text

9th June 2006

Phase III public hearings of the Investigation Committee of the Commission will continue from MONDAY 12th JUNE with the Department of Education and Science.

6th June 2006

Investigation Committee Public Hearing: St. Conleth's Reformatory School, Daingean

Single Transcript of daily Session (pdf): Plain Text

1st June 2006

Investigation Committee Public Hearing: Sisters of Charity

Single Transcript of daily Session (pdf): Plain Text

1st June 2006

The transcript of yesterdays Investigation Committee public hearing has been revised due to a typographical error. This revised transcript can be found here or at the original link below.

Some documents in the website are in PDF format. How to download PDF files