Emily Logan: disturbing

A WITNESS who arrived on the scene of the Drimnagh stabbings in 2008 said gardaí were just seconds from preventing the death of the two men.

Chris Donoghue (26) drove around the corner on the way to visiting a family member just seconds after Pawel Kalite and Mariusz Szwajkos were stabbed.

He described the scene of carnage, with a hysterical crowd trying to help the men as gardaí and ambulance sirens were heard in the background.

"From what I could see the guards were 90 seconds away from stopping this from happening. They were very close," said Donoghue.

As Donoghue arrived on the scene, the men's killer David Curran and his friend Sean Keogh were running away.

"I saw [his house mate] Camilla on the ground with Pawel's head cradled on her lap," he recalled.

"She was in hysterics; most of his body was in the garden and she was cradling him in her lap. He was bleeding very heavily, it was obvious he had a stab wound in the head and he wasn't moving."

At first it appeared that Szwajkos, who was lying on the footpath, had had his throat slit. "He was in some sort of consciousness because he was moving. I was convinced, until I heard the evidence in the trial, that he had had his throat slit because of the amount of blood," said Donoghue.

"He was kind of out of it and he was grappling with my shirt and with the lady beside me.

"He was trying to say something but I couldn't make it out. He was groaning.

"What I saw was someone who was extremely scared and in pain."

The Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan is to use the benefit of Oireachtas privilege to publish the results of a potentially damning investigation by her office into child-protection practices in the state, the Sunday Tribune has learned.

Logan's 18-month examination of the implementation of the Children First national guidelines for the protection and welfare of children was completed last February, but is only now being published following consultation with relevant third parties.

It is expected to highlight huge variations in the way the guidelines are implemented by individual HSE regions around the country. It is understood that another key concern is the significant levels of non-compliance with the guidelines, which have yet to be placed on a statutory footing.

Children's minister Barry Andrews has committed to do this as part of the implementation plan arising from the Ryan report.

The publication of Logan's report could take place as early as Tuesday, once it has been placed before the Oir­eachtas. She declined to comment on its contents.

However, she confirmed she decided to lay it before the Houses of the Oireachtas this week and chose to invoke her power to do so given its "significance" as the first systemic investigation carried out by the Ombudsman for Children's Office.

The relevant legislation permits "occasional submissions" to the Oireachtas by her office.

Logan launched her investigation in November 2008 after what she labelled the "disturbing results" of a separate review of compliance with Children First, undertaken by the Minister for Children's office in the aftermath of the Ferns report.

Logan said at the time that information about the implementation of Children First had also emerged through complaints and investigations undertaken by her office which raised "serious concerns."

"I am concerned about the partial or non-implementation of these guidelines by the HSE and how this could result in systemic deficits in the management and care of children," she said. "As the person with statutory responsibility for promoting the rights and welfare of children in Ireland it would be remiss of me not to make my concerns known."