South Tipperary Arts Centre in Clonmel was founded over 20 years ago to be a focal point for the arts in Clonmel and County Tipperary. The arts centre is situated in a beautiful, light-filled Modernist building near the River Suir on Nelson Street. The building houses a gallery and a spacious workshop.
Today, our vision is to be a centre of excellence for the arts in Tipperary and to create opportunities for everyone to engage with high-level arts practice. As well as presenting a range of visual arts exhibitions in our gallery space, we also host events such as music, performance, poetry readings and dance. Our studio is used for short term exhibitions & screenings, as well as for a variety of classes and workshops. It is also a rehearsal space for theatre, dance, music, and is available for meetings and seminars.
Our outreach and education work is integral to the success of the arts centre, as one of our key objectives is to engage with a wide and varied range of local people. The Arts Centre would like to thank Tipperary County Council for their ongoing support and funding.
Arts Centre board members
Loughlin Kealy (Chair) - Professor of Architecture at UCD and former Chair of the Irish Landmark Trust.
James Reilly (Secretary) - Practising solicitor who lives and works in Clonmel
Cllr Siobhan Ambrose - Member of Clonmel Borough Council & South Tipperary County Council
Phil Shanahan - Social Inclusion Programmes Manager with South Tipperary Development Company
Emma Lucy O’Brien
Catherine Marshall - Catherine Marshall is an art historian, curator and critical writer.
John Hannafin - Teaches Creative Multimedia, Digital Animation Production, Game Art & Design in LIT Clonmel.
Child Protection Policy
South Tipperary Arts Centre
The South Tipperary Arts Centre’s Child Protection Policy is comprised of the following sections
1. Policy Statement
2. Code of Practice
3. Designated Child Protection Person
4. Procedure for reporting concerns
5. Definitions of abuse
6. Recruitment and Selection Procedures
7. Responding Appropriately to a child
1. Child Protection Policy Statement
The South Tipperary Arts Centre acknowledges it has a responsibility for the safety of children involved in arts projects, attending classes or otherwise under its temporary care. It also recognises that good child protection policies and procedures are of benefit to everyone involved with the Arts Centre’s work, including staff, as they can help protect them from erroneous or malicious allegations.
The South Tipperary Arts Centre is committed to practices which protect children from harm. For the purpose of this policy, the Arts Centre’s staff includes not only its full-time employees but part time staff, artists and tutors. All staff and volunteers who have access to, or contact with children during the course of their work are required to
• recognise and accept their responsibilities
• develop awareness of the issues which can cause children harm
• report concerns following the procedure below
The South Tipperary Arts Centre will endeavour to safeguard children by:
a) adopting child protection procedures and a code of practice for all who work on behalf of the organisation;
b) reporting concerns to the authorities;
c) following carefully procedures for recruitment and selection of staff, and volunteers;
d) providing effective management for staff, and volunteers through
e) support and training.
The South Tipperary Arts Centre is committed to reviewing its Child Protection Policy and code of practice at regular intervals.
It is the South Tipperary Arts Centre’s Policy that:
1. All staff working on behalf of the Centre accept responsibility for the welfare of children who come into contact with the centre in connection with its tasks and functions, and that they will report any concerns about a child or somebody else’s behaviour, using the procedures laid down.
2. There is a Designated Liaison Person (DLP) within the organisation who will take action following any expression of concern, and the lines of responsibility in respect of child protection are clear.
3. Designated Liaison Person know how to make appropriate referrals to child protection agencies.
4. All those who are in contact with children on behalf of the South Tipperary Arts Centre should adhere to the code of practice in relation to children.
5. Information relating to any allegation or disclosure will be clearly recorded as soon as possible, and there is a procedure setting out who should record information and who should pass it on.
6. The National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children states that the “welfare of children is of paramount importance” this means that considerations of confidentiality which might apply to other situations should not be allowed to over-ride the right of children to be protected from harm. However, every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned when an allegation has been made and is being investigated by the relevant body and a parent referral made.
7. The Arts Centre’s policy on duty of care to children will be referred to or included in recruitment, training, and the policies are openly and widely available to staff and actively promoted within the organisation.
8. A culture of mutual respect between children and those who represent the Arts Centre in all its activities will be encouraged, with adults modelling good practice in this context.
9. It is part of the Arts Centre’s acceptance of its responsibility of duty of care towards children that anybody who encounters child protection concerns in the context of their work on behalf of the Centre will be supported when they report their concerns in good faith.
2. Code of Practice
The South Tipperary Arts Centre expects that all staff, which for these purposes includes anybody in paid or unpaid work on its behalf, will be aware of this Code of Practice and adhere to its principles in their approach to all children. The South Tipperary Arts Centre adopts a stance that all abuse against children is unacceptable.
1. All classes, workshops, events, should be as open as possible, and it is important that no more time should be spent alone with children than is necessary.
2. It is important not to have unnecessary physical contact with children.
3. It is not good practice to take children alone in a car on journeys, however short.
4. Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child, even in fun as this could be misinterpreted.
5. It is important not to deter children from making a disclosure of abuse through fear of not being believed, and to listen to what they have to say. If this gives rise to a child protection concern it is important to follow the Arts Centre’s procedure for reporting such concerns, and not to attempt to investigate the concern yourself.
6. Remember that those who abuse children can be of any age (even other children), gender, ethnic background or class, and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people to prevent appropriate action taking place.
7. Good practice includes valuing and respecting children as individuals, and the adult modelling of appropriate conduct will always exclude bullying, shouting, racism, sectarianism or sexism.
3. Designated Liaison Person (DLP)
The South Tipperary Arts Centre has appointed a designated liaison person who is responsible for dealing with any concerns about the protection of children. This person is contactable by telephone on 052 6127877 / or mobile 0838787027.
The role of the designated person(s) is to:
1. know which outside child protection agency to contact in the event of a child protection concern happening;
2. provide information and advice on child protection to board members and staff of the Arts Centre;
3. ensure that appropriate information is available at the time of referral and that the referral is confirmed in writing under confidential cover;
4. liaise with the HSE and other agencies, as appropriate;
5. keep relevant people in the Arts Centre informed about any action taken and any further action required;
6. ensure that a proper record is kept of any referral and action taken, and that this is kept safely and in confidence;
7. advise the board of child protection needs; and
8. liaise with the HSE to review the operation of the Child Protection Policy regularly to ensure the procedures are working and that it complies with current best practice.
4. Procedure for Reporting Concerns
Staff could have their suspicion raised in a number of ways, the most likely of which are:
1. the conduct of a member of staff;
2. a child “disclosing” abuse;
3. bruising or evidence of physical hurt; which may or may not be accompanied by;
4. unusual behaviour by a child.
If a member of staff has such concerns they should be reported to the DLP using the form available for this purpose.
Concerns about a specific child should be reported immediately by telephone to the DLP and confirmed in writing within 24 hours using the form available from the DLP. Delay could prejudice the welfare of a child. If the concerns relate to the conduct of a member of staff these should be reported by phone to the DLP at the earliest opportunity.
The DLP will consider the report and either refer this immediately to the authorities or, after taking appropriate advice (which may include discussing the circumstances on a confidential basis with the HSE), decide not to refer the concerns to the authorities but keep a full record of the concerns.
5. Definitions of Abuse
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. It may be the result of a deliberate act, but could also be caused through omission or failure to act to protect.
Emotional abuse is the persistent ill- treatment of a child or young person such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making a child
feel or believe that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill- treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of, or consents to, what is happening. It may involve physical contact, including rape or oral sex, or non-penetrative acts such as fondling. Boys and girls can be sexually abused by males and/or females and by other young people. It also includes non-contact activities such as involving children in watching or taking part in pornographic material, or encouraging children to behave in inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/ or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, or failing to ensure that a child gets appropriate medical care or treatment.
6. Recruitment and Selection Procedures
Appropriate recruitment and selection procedures for staff in the context of child protection in line with recommendations by the Department of Health and Children have been adopted by the South Tipperary Arts Centre and include the following;
1. Clear definition of the role of employees or volunteers
2. Application Form:
5. Documentary evidence of qualifications
6. Written references
7. Garda Vetting
7. Responding Appropriately to a Child Making an Allegation of Abuse
1. Stay calm.
2. Listen carefully to what is said.
3. Find an early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others - do not promise to keep secrets.
4. Tell the child the matter will only be disclosed to those who need to know about it.
5. Allow the child to continue at her/his own pace.
6. Ask questions for clarification only, and at all times avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer
7. Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you.
8. Tell them what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared.
9. Record in writing what was said, using the child’s own words as soon as possible - note the date, time. any names mentioned, to whom the information was given and ensure that the record is signed an dated
10. It is important to remember that the person who first encounters a case of alleged abuse is not responsible for deciding whether abuse has occurred. That is a task for the professional child protection agencies, following a referral from the designated child protection person.