The Children of Ireland Group
P. O. Box 13241, Tallahassee FL 32317
Tel: 850.562.6466 
Email: terry@thetrakker.com
A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]
 

 

NEWS RELEASE
July 5, 2000

 

In June, 2000, The Children of Ireland Group (CIG), after reviewing material on sectarian attacks on children and most importantly, punishment beatings, developed and passed a Resolution On Punishment Beatings. This Resolution specifically condemns all punishment beatings of adolescents in Northern Ireland and beseeches all political parties and paramilitary groups to find other alternatives. 

Alternatives suggested are:

- an increased emphasis on the newly formed Community Restorative Justice program instituted approximately two years ago with the assistance of a Minnesota expert on community restorative justice. Recently, J. Terry Ryan, President while visiting a CRJ program in West Belfast learned that it had worked successfully on over 500 cases in less than a two year program and had, if felt, averted at least 10 punishment beatings. Since its inauguration, this one location indicates that the area served by this one CRJ has had no punishment beatings!  

-that along with the CRJ program, the Patton Report on the national police force be implemented in its entirety and a police force be formed that is fully supported by the Northern Ireland community. In doing so, this will transfer the burden of a community policing itself.  

-increased support of psychiatric trauma centers for not only personnel but also funding. This would include increased funding without taking away from current healthcare budgets! Additionally, and most importantly is the increase in the number of psychiatric beds for adolescents! As of June, 2000 there is an indication that the entire six counties of Northern Ireland have only six beds available for adolescents for a population of over 1.5 million residents. Lastly, this support also calls for an increase in the number of psychiatric personnel needed to treat adolescents and the number of students studying such care dramatically from current low levels.

The specific resolution is attached.

RESOLUTION ON PUNISHMENT BEATINGS

 

As follow-up to passing this resolution, the Group is personally contacting the political parties in Northern Ireland.

 

Commenting on the resolution and his recent trip to Northern Ireland, Terry indicated, "Although CIG condemns punishment beatings outright, it is wonderful to see a spark of hope the Community Restorative Justice program brings to Northern Ireland. I appeal to all political parties and paramilitaries to continue their support of this extremely important alternative and consider additional support where needed. The future of Northern Ireland lies in its childrens’ health – not in disabling them … many times for life." Regarding past victims, Terry continued, "It is SO imperative to address past injuries not only to the actual victims, but also their families and friends. While doing so, not only should the physical injuries be addressed but also the mental harm, especially, by creating many more psychiatric beds for adolescents for not only punishment beatings but also the myriad of current and future mental health needs of the adolescent and do so quickly!"

The Children of Ireland Group, Inc. formed in September, 1999 helps purchase recreation equipment and education resources for community centres in Ireland, especially Northern Ireland, working with needy kids and young adults. The Group’s belief is the more recreation and education resources a community center has to help adolescents then the less likely children will tend to gravitate toward gangs, violence, drugs, and as a last resort to conflict and other reasons, commit suicide. All net proceeds of fund raising events go directly to childrens programs along with any individual donations directed to any specific project. CIG also maintains the only known public source of information on daily sectarian attacks on children in Northern Ireland on its website.


The Group is also a membership organization boasting an international interest.

 

For further information, contact J. Terry Ryan at the above phone number, e-mail address, or direct mail address.