In July 2019 Anna Kavanagh the co-founder of the Alliance of Birth Mothers Campaigning for Justice (ABC) chatted to Maura Butterly a retired social worker who worked on the frontline in Dublin dealing with children being trafficked into the sex trade. Maura has been a mentor to ABC since it was formed in June 2019.
Following the deaths of several children in care, she was a member of the committee set up by Alan Shatter, Fine Gael in 2010. At that time Shatter, a lawyer was the opposition spokesperson on Justice.
Fine Gael formed a coalition government with the Labour Party after the 2011 General Election and Shatter became Minister for Justice.
The government set about implementing the recommendations of Shatter’s committee report which was to transfer child protection from the HSE over to a new entity that would have responsibility for child protection.
Tusla was established under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013.
Section 8 of the Act says Tusla is to “𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭 and 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐞 the development, welfare and protection of children.”
There’s a world of difference between promoting protection and actually providing protection.
As long as Tusla’s mandate remains to support and promote protection of children it cannot be held to account for its failure to protect children because they are in the business of “supporting” and “promoting” not protecting children.
Maura Butterly explained that Tusla operates as a business. In fact their 𝐵𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑃𝑙𝑎𝑛 2023 is available on this link https://www.tusla.ie/about/business-plan-2023/
In 2019 their budget was three quarters of a billion euro. This has risen to just under a billion euro in 2023 and it’s likely to reach a billion euro in 2024.
As Maura explained, there’s a huge number of people dependent on the removal of children from their mothers for their livelihoods.
The video below is an excerpt from a much longer conversation. The link to the full interview is here https://youtu.be/iGx_SLgLz8k