RCNI call on the government to make a credible commitment to addressing sexual violence.

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) Press Release

Tuesday June 9th 2015

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) as they launch what could be their last National Rape Crisis Statistic Report today call on the government to make a credible commitment to addressing sexual violence.

The RCNI National Rape Crisis Statistics Report 2014 was launched this morning at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. Speakers included Dr Clíona Saidléar (RCNI Director), Elaine Mears (RCNI Data and Services Information Manager), survivor and long standing RCC volunteer and staff member Rosie. This may be the last year the RCNI can present this powerful evidence-base from survivors of sexual violence as Tusla under this government have withdrawn 100% of RCNI’s core funding.

In 2014 this government in a decisive step to address many failings on sexual violence founded a new agency, Tusla: the Child and Family Agency but the RCNI warns against complacency. RCNI Director, Dr. Clíona Saidléar said, “Tusla’s capacity and remit addresses critical gaps and past failings in the State’s response to the crime of sexual violence and meeting survivors’ needs, in particular the child survivor. We continue to support them in that endeavour. However, by itself Tusla can never get the job of addressing sexual violence done. Tusla alone does not fulfil the State’s responsibility on sexual violence.

Ms Saidléar continued, “We estimate that only 20% of survivors will reach out to specialist services funded by Tusla. That means 80% do not and will not have their needs met by Tusla’s activities even at full capacity. If the totality of this State’s response to survivors is to provide services to only 20%, then the State’s response is manifestly insufficient. It is vital this government move beyond an understanding that its duty has been fulfilled in the handing over of its responsibility to the Statutory Agency, Tusla.

As long as there is insufficient capacity and fragmentary approaches to the prevention of sexual violence this government will fail to meet its obligations to victims of sexual violence under the EU Victims’ Directive. We call on government to take up its role on the issue of sexual violence; the continuation of the status quo of high levels of sexual violence without a credible challenge is simply not an option for any legitimate government.”

RCNI Data and Services Information Manager, Elaine Mears said, “64% of survivors coming to the 14 Rape Crisis Centres in this RCNI report did not report to the Gardaí. The many experiences of survivors that build this evidence-base for change are only recorded here in the RCNI data system and are visible to the State in no other way. This report using RCNI’s unique, best in class Data and Knowledge Collection System is critical to understanding sexual violence and gives a strong voice to survivors who are otherwise not engaging with the State but who engage with the independent Rape Crisis Centres and who benefit from the work done by centres in their communities.

Ms Mears continued, “Through the independent RCNI data, knowledge and information system and our programme of analysis and research, survivors can inform legislation, policies and practices nationally regarding sexual violence. We now have a highly developed and internationally recognised data collection system which continues to give a powerful voice to survivor stories. We call on government to fund the system as a matter of urgency as this system which cannot be replicated by the State, is currently at risk.

Key Findings of the Report

Some the key findings of the report are presented below. This information refers to the 14 Rape Crisis Centres in Ireland who entered information into the Data, Knowledge and Information System.

Perpetrator Information

·         93% of perpetrators were known to the survivor

·         15% of perpetrators were under 18

·         50% of perpetrators were between the age of 20 – 39

·         52% of survivors aged 13 to 17 were subjected to rape

Counselling and Support

·         18,296 Helplines contacts were made

·         Of the helpline calls to RCCs, 30% were made by the public & numerous agencies seeking information

·         1,913 people took up counselling and support

·         340 people were accompanied

·         17,288 appointments for counselling and support

Reporting

·         33% of survivors reported the sexual violence to the police

·         48% of survivors of adult sexual violence reported the sexual violence to a formal authority

·         67%  of survivors who reported to the Gardaí felt that the Gardaí treated them in sensitive manner

·         60% of survivors who reported to Gardaí said the Gardaí maintained on-going contact with them throughout

·         80% of survivors who reported to the Gardaí did not have any difficulty getting information about her/his case from the Gardaí at any stage of the investigation

Notes:

·         Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) is a specialist information and resource centre on rape and all forms of sexual violence.

·         The RCNI National Rape Crisis Statistics 2014 report can be downloaded in its entirety on www.rcni.ie from 10am on Tuesday, June 9th 2015.

 

ENDS

 

Rape Crisis Network Ireland calls on inclusion of a definition of Consent at its public information seminar

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) Press Release.

Rape Crisis Network Ireland calls on inclusion of a definition of Consent at its public information seminar on the General Scheme of the forthcoming Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015

 

Today, Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) calls for the inclusion of a definition of consent to be included in the forthcoming Bill as it holds a public information seminar on the General Scheme of the forthcoming Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015. The seminar includes an expert panel to help inform the debate about key aspects of the Bill. Addressing a full house of delegates in Buswells hotel, the speakers included Dr Conor Hanly, NUIG School of Law, Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, Detective Inspector, Michael Lynch (TBC) alongside the RCNI contribution by Legal Director, Caroline Counihan.

 

Clíona Saidléar, RCNI Director said, “The making of this Bill is the story of a vibrant and robust dialogue between government, survivors, experts and specialist advocates. Survivors, through their engagement with the justice system, supported and championed by justice professionals and independent specialist advocates have, over the past decade, made the case for many of the changes and additions to existing measures being proposed in this Bill.”

 

This Bill is not only in line with the European Victims Directive, but in some areas ahead of such standards. Lessons in protection and risk management are also a significant part of this general scheme. Material covered in the seminar included a look into Grooming Offences, Harassment Orders, Special Measures, Changes to Sex Offenders Act 2001: Risk Assessment & Management and Consent to Sexual Activity were also addressed.

 

Caroline Counihan, Legal Director for RCNI said, “It is essential to define consent in our legislation to give us the capacity to challenge the denial and minimisation which often works to isolate and silence victims. RCNI is advocating for a positive definition of Consent to Sexual Activity to be included in this Bill.  RCNI recommend a definition similar to that adopted in England and Wales in their 2003 Sexual Offences Act, at section 74, namely: ‘A person consents if he agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.”

 

Ms Saidléar went on to say, “Alongside these changes in law, Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald must work to vindicate the rights and deliver justice for the 80% of all sexual violence victims that do not report to the Gardaí. The significantly silenced voices of those who remain outside the justice system and their right to justice continues to be a challenge that this government must address. Supporting a strong independent voice for the silenced is a basic  requirements of any government which takes responsibility on the issue of sexual violence.”

 

For a briefing note on the areas of the Heads of Bill under discussion at the seminar click here

 

Notes:

·         Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) is a specialist information and resource centre on rape and all forms of sexual violence.

·         Please see www.rcni.ie under publications and submission for a range of RCNI documentation which contributed to the contents of this Bill.

 

ENDS

 

 

RCNI call for the immediate removal of Diageo/Role-models advert

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) call for the immediate removal of all Diageo/Role-models advert which blames victims of sexual violence for the crimes that have been committed against them.

Clíona Saidléar, RCNI Director, said ‘the latest Diageo/Role-models advertisement features a young woman returned home after a night out clearly upset, with her mother standing in the bedroom doorway. The tag line read: ‘Who’s following in your footsteps: Out-of-control-drinking has consequences.’ The sinister inference is that the young girl has been attacked on her way home. The message is it’s her fault for being drunk and what is more it is also her mother’s fault for her own drinking habits.

‘The belief that drunk girls are ‘asking for it’ is one that needs to be strongly challenged as it is one that we know perpetrators use to select and target their victims knowing this cultural attitude will mean they get away with it. Disappointingly, the out-of-control campaign instead of challenging it has reinforced it here.

‘Not only is the survivor blamed, the survivors’ mother is also in the frame. The perpetrator is not in this picture. This is a harmful, regressive and hurtful message which targets the vulnerable. Survivors of sexual violence should never be used in this manner.

‘This latest ad builds on the shaming of women theme that can be seen in much drink related campaigning. The out-of-control campaign which started by asking women if they were ‘embarrassed’ while they were being photographed without their consent in a potentially compromising position, has now progressed  to blaming victims of rape for their own rape.

‘This is utterly unacceptable and RCNI demand that Diageo remove these offending advertisements immediately. We ask all papers and commercial platforms carrying this ad to take it down and refuse to run such dangerous cultural messages of rape victim blaming.’

ENDS

RCNI urges government to make Sexual Consent Education a priority within our Secondary Schools

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) Press Release 10th March 2015

RCNI urges government to make Sexual Consent Education a priority within our Secondary Schools

RCNI today, following announcements in the UK, urge Minister for Education, and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan to act now to ensure our children are protected from sexual violence through teaching the knowledge, skills and abilities to understand sexual consent and negotiate their potential relationships safely.

Cliona Saidlear, RCNI Director said, ‘this time last year RCNI revealed new research findings in Young people, Alcohol and Sex: What’s Consent got to do with it?, in which our brightest young people, our college students, said they lacked preparedness to negotiate consent safely leaving them vulnerable to sexual violence.  They cited having had no exposure to consent education in their school experience.

‘Our school curriculum and national policy within the education system has as yet not responded to that evidence of failure to prevent sexual violence and protect children. In addition we continue to await the National Sexual Health Strategy. Today the UK government took the initiative and announced plans to teach children from the age of 11 about sexual consent. This approach to sexual violence prevention would advance us towards the WHO  Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe (2010) which outlines the various levels of sexuality education recommended from 0-4, 6-9, 9-12, 12-15 and 15 plus.

‘Our young people need government to act to prevent sexual violence. In RCNI’s report in 2013 on Hearing Child Survivors of Sexual Violence it was revealed that 37% of the perpetrators of sexual violence against children were themselves children. This figure could be reduced if greater emphasis was placed on prevention through sexual consent training.

‘We cannot continue to be outraged at the level of incidence of sexual violence and particularly alcohol implicated sexual violence amongst young people, when opportunities for preventing sexual violence are not prioritised.

RCNI call on the Minister to look to the WHO evidence and our neighbour’s example and make sexual consent education a priority.

 

ENDS

RCNI welcomes appointment of new Ombudsman for Children

4 February 2015

 

RCNI welcomes appointment of new Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon

 

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) has welcomed the appointment of Dr Niall Muldoon as the new Ombudsman for Children, as announced yesterday by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly

 

Dr Cliona Saidlear, RCNI Acting Director said, ‘RCNI have had the privilege of working with Niall Muldoon over a number of years, both in his role in CARI and later within the Ombudsman’s office. Niall has great insight into the vulnerabilities of the child and in particular brought a focus to the complex world that the older child both thrives within and navigates.’

 

According to the most recent RCNI National Rape Crisis Statistics Report 2013 7% of survivors attending Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs) were under the age of 18. 14% of perpetrators of sexual violence against survivors coming to RCCs were under the age of 18. 23% of survivors who were abused when under the age of 13 were abused by other children.

 

Ms Saidlear went on to say, ‘a focus on the older child and an understanding of their vulnerability to both aggression and victimisation remains a critical and under-resourced area of child protection and sexual violence prevention. We wish Dr Muldoon well in his new role.’

 

Also please see www.rcni.ie under research and reports for further information on children using RCC services in 2013

RCNI strongly welcome the release of the General Scheme of the forthcoming Criminal Law (Sexual Offices) Bill

27 November 2014

RCNI strongly welcome the release of the General Scheme of the forthcoming Criminal Law (Sexual Offices) Bill and commend Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald for bringing this substantial and significant piece of legislation before us.

Cliona Saidlear, RCNI Acting Director said, ‘This long awaited legislation is one of the most important advances in the legal framework around sexual violence crimes in recent years. RCNI would also like to recognise the work of previous Ministers for Justice, the significant effort by Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence over several years, and the work of members of Oireachtas Committees who have contributed to the legislation’s development over recent years. This legislation truly is a product of the Oireachtas as a whole and we look forward to contributing our perspectives on it, as members of the Oireachtas give this legislation their consideration on its progression into law.

Caroline Counihan, RCNI Legal Director said, ‘we are constantly reminded through our clinical work of the devastation caused to children by sexual violence. A large part of this violence begins with “grooming” behaviours, which do not always fit in to the existing categories of offences. Therefore, we have been advocating for years for laws that fit the realities of today’s childhood. The introduction of a new offence of grooming of children including grooming via social media and otherwise through the use of information technology is very welcome.

‘In addition, RCNI is very glad to see the new provisions tightening the law in relation to the monitoring and supervision of sex offenders on release from prison and placing the risk assessment of these offenders on a statutory footing. Our hope is that these measures taken together will do much to help reduce the impacts of release not only on these offenders’ victims but also on the wider community.

‘Finally, RCNI welcomes the introduction of a statutory regime to regulate disclosure of counselling records relating to victims, in criminal proceedings, for which we and our partners have also advocated for years. This means that a judge will decide whether and/or to what extent, any disclosure of such documents will be allowed, and in doing so, s/he will take into account the right of the victim to protection from further harm and the public interest in preserving the confidentiality of such intimate and personal records, as well as the right of the accused to a fair trial.

RCNI looks forward to examining this complex General Scheme in more detail and to producing a full measured response to it in the near future’

 

Also please see www.rcni.ie under publications and submission for a range of RCNI documentation which contributed to the contents of this Bill

RCNI release National Rape Crisis Statistics 2013 report; call for renewed whole of government attention to the issue of sexual violence

RCNI Press Release – Wednesday 12th November 2014

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) release their National Rape Crisis Statistics 2013 report and call for renewed whole of government attention at this time to the issue of sexual violence

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald officially launched the report today at the Royal Irish Academy. Other speakers included Anne Scully (RCNI Chair), Dr Clíona Saidléar (RCNI Acting Director), and Elaine Mears (RCNI Data and Services Information Manager).

This comprehensive report pulls together information gathered using RCNI’s unique, best in class Data and Knowledge Collection System from 2,203 survivors of sexual violence who presented to 15 Rape Crisis Centres across Ireland in 2013, and the findings have policy implications for the whole of government in terms of delivering an urgent, satisfactory response to address the needs of survivors of sexual violence.

Elaine Mears, RCNI Data and Services Information Manager said: “Teenagers who experience sexual violence may not be receiving the best response, because these findings once again emphasise that these children more commonly disclose patterns of abuse experienced by adults. Survivors also reveal that 14% of perpetrators of the sexual violence against them were themselves children. Through this report RCNI brings greater understanding to how factors such as age, gender and legal status strongly influence patterns of abuse and therefore inform how we can respond appropriately to the needs of all survivors.”

Ms. Mears continued: “For the first time, we release RCNI findings on the contact and experience of survivors reporting to An Garda Síochána. 57% of survivors who reported to the Gardaí felt they were treated in a sensitive manner, and 59% received ongoing contact from the Gardaí on their case. RCNI are engaging with An Garda Síochána to further understand the information coming through the RCNI data and knowledge information system to determine which possible responses are appropriate.”

Dr. Clíona Saidléar, Acting Director, RCNI said: “Responding appropriately to survivors must be a priority for the whole of government. To do this, we must have the best possible understanding of patterns and nature of sexual violence, in order to inform the approach to service provision for survivors, as well as in challenging the stereotypes and inaccurate, damaging societal attitudes that exist regarding all aspects of rape and sexual abuse.

This report, along with others generated using the RCNI Data and Knowledge Collection System is a continuation of the critically important work being done in the Rape Crisis Sector by a combination of cooperating stakeholders to generate that understanding.  The findings are a vital tool in generating knowledge and awareness, identifying continuing or new patterns of sexual violence and tracking changes in the key characteristics of perpetrators and survivors as well as the details of the occurrence, nature and extent of the abuse itself.”

Dr Saidléar continued: “The findings contained within this report highlight the crucial role this data plays in providing relevant, cost-effective answers to vital practice questions, including all aspects of uptake and usage of Rape Crisis Centre awareness, support and prevention services.  The report should not simply be regarded as a record of what happened in 2013, but rather, used as a valuable resource to plan for the future and inform the necessary responses from government to address the problem of sexual violence, as well as implementing a decisive prevention strategy.

The findings of this report represent a continuation of over 12 years of vital data collection, used by researchers, practitioners and policymakers in our collective efforts to end sexual violence towards women, men and children. This valuable resource is now under serious threat due to a lack of funding. We call on the Minister for Justice and Equality to ensure the preservation of this resource in order to maintain continuity of data so RCNI can continue to inform policy formation in this area.”

Interim Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan said: “The figures released today are an invaluable aid in our ongoing fight against sexual crime. We want to ensure that victims of sexual crime are treated with compassion and empathy, and can have the confidence that they will be taken seriously, supported, and a thorough investigation is undertaken. We will continue to work with bodies such as the RCNI to ensure that victims of sexual crime receive the best possible support.”

Key Findings of the Report

Some the key findings of the report are presented below. This information refers to the 15 Rape Crisis Centres in Ireland who entered information into the Data and Knowledge Collection System.

Counselling and Support

  • In 2013, 32,026 contacts were made to Rape Crisis Centre helplines in Ireland, representing 3,195 hours of calls.
  • 2,467 people took up counselling and support services in RCCs in 2013, resulting in 22,460 appointments.
  • 56% more counselling and support was given to survivors of multiple incidents of sexual violence than other survivors.
  • 7% of survivors attending RCCs were children
  • Rape Crisis Centres accompanied 603 people to a range of different services including Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATUs), the Gardaí and PSNI.
  • 18% of those accompanied by RCCs were children (Page 12)
  • 23% of RCC work was carried out by volunteers (Page 9)

Reporting

  • 48% of survivors of adult sexual violence reported to a formal authority.
  • 57% of survivors who reported the abuse felt that the Gardaí treated them in a sensitive manner.
  • 63% of child survivors attending RCCs first disclosed the abuse to parents

Perpetrator Information

  • 91% of perpetrators of sexual violence were known to the survivor.
  • 14% of perpetrators were children (aged under 18)
  • 23% of survivors who were abused when under the age of 13 were abused by other children
  • 61% of survivors aged 13 to 17 were subjected to rape

This research also reinforces the findings of RCNI research published earlier this year focusing on the severe trauma experienced by refugees and asylum seekers attending Rape Crisis Centres, and highlights the unique vulnerabilities and difficulties that they face.

The RCNI National Rape Crisis Statistics 2013 report can be downloaded in its entirety on www.rcni.ie from 10am on Wednesday 12th November 2014.

Ends

 

RCNI release new report: Asylum seekers & refugees surviving on hold

October 28th 2014

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) release new report:
“Asylum seekers and refugees surviving on hold, sexual violence disclosed to Rape Crisis Centres in 2012.”

• “significant reforms urgently necessary in Direct Provision system”
• “many survivors of sexual violence seeking asylum in Ireland…… have not found a haven”

Judge Catherine McGuinness officially launched the report today at the Royal Irish Academy. Other speakers included Anne Scully (RCNI Chair) and Dr Clíona Saidléar (RCNI Acting Director), a number of representatives from the asylum seeker and refugee community were also present.
The report presents findings on asylum seeker and refugee survivors of sexual violence who were using Rape Crisis Centre (RCC) services in 2012. Amongst the findings were:
• The population experienced high incidents with multiple abusers, 52% as opposed to 11% for the general population,
• Security forces represented 46% of perpetrators of sexual violence against this population,
• For 40% of this population the sexual violence lasted for years,
• And for 5% the sexual violence was perpetrated within rebel/government camps,
• For female survivors, 14% became pregnant as a result of rape and 67% of these girls and women are now parenting the children.
Of urgent concern this report identifies the Direct Provision system and living conditions as both exacerbating these survivors’ trauma and creating vulnerability to additional sexual violence.
The report also takes a closer look at barriers this population faces in accessing support to address often high levels of need:
• For 32% of Rape Crisis clients from this group the counselling ended because the survivor was moved and could no longer access the centre,
• Rape Crisis Centres noticed referral dropping off as community and professional supports to this population, particularly those living in Direct Provision, was curtailed,
• Reluctance to disclose to a Community Welfare Officer in order to secure the resources to attend an RCC eg to fund transportation, child minding, missed meals.
Anne Scully, RCNI Chair said, ‘Unfortunately, for many survivors of sexual violence seeking asylum in Ireland, many of whom have experienced multiple and prolonged violence, they have not found a haven. Instead, many of the provisions we have in place and the terms under which this population lives can increase distress and vulnerability for these survivors and their families. We need to ensure our asylum process delivers safety and supports survivors to begin their journey of healing.’
Clíona Saidléar, RCNI acting Director said, ‘This report provides clear evidence that significant reforms are urgently necessary in the Direct Provision system to halt the risk of sexual violence to vulnerable residents and minimise the psychological harm to survivors.’
‘The Irish State has an obligation under international human rights instruments to insure that refugee and asylum seeker survivors of sexual violence are protected from discrimination and have access to care. However, we have found that these survivors’ access to rape crisis supports through outreach, innovation and community partnerships, have been eroded by continual cuts since 2008.’
Key Recommendations:
• Reduce time within which people live in Direct Provision;
• Reform Direct Provision to make it safe and secure, for survivors of sexual violence, and from sexual violence:
• training for staff;
• independent complaints system;
• women-only accommodation;
• decreased use of shared facilitates.
• Psycho social support for survivors;
• Psycho-social support for families;
• Resources to facilitate access to supports;
• Asylum seeker and refugee engagement in building responses.

The full report can be downloaded at www.rcni.ie/

Notes:
• All statistics are from the RCNI Database©

28th October 2014

 

RCNI welcome Oireachtas Committee report on Domestic and sexual violence

Rape Crisis Network Ireland today welcome the launch of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality Report on its hearings into Sexual and Domestic Violence which makes a number of important recommendations.

Clíona Saidléar, RCNI acting Director said, ‘the committee’s recommendation that the justice and support response to sexual violence should be specialised is very welcome. Giving survivors of sexual violence a just and appropriate response requires specialists at every point, from the Gardaí, to the support worker, to the medical response, and the courts. We urge both those in leadership and stakeholders to commit to this goal to preserve the specialisation that currently exists and is often under threat and to build it where it does not.’

Caroline Counihan, RCNI Legal Director said, ‘RCNI are particularly pleased to see the committee recommend that the right of the accused to cross examine the victim personally in court should be qualified in sexual violence cases. We have seen the absence of this qualification impact on some of the most vulnerable victims of sexual crimes and unacceptably permit the traumatising of victims by their alleged perpetrators within our justice system.

Clíona Saidléar went on to say, ‘RCNI also strongly welcome the committees assertion that the age of consent to sex should remain at 17. This question has been considered numerous times over the past decade, despite the fact that at no point has there been a consensus or willingness to lower the age of consent. The position taken by this committee has been arrived at upon examination of the evidence, and the purpose and function of this legal instrument in light of the reality of the teenage child’s vulnerability in today’s society.

RCNI release latest Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) accompaniment figures

In 2013 494 people were accompanied to SATUs by Rape Crisis Centre Psychological Support Workers, according to new Rape Crisis Network Ireland National statistics. 95% of the victims were female and the age range was from teenagers to 65. This unique Rape Crisis support to victims attending a sexual assault treatment unit is provided 24 hours a day in each of the SATU locations nationwide.

RCNI’s Susan Miner said, ‘for survivors the fact that we are there at the SATU, working as part of the team with An Garda Síochána, the SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examination) Nurses, Medical Doctors and Clinical Nurse Managers is incredibly important.’

Rape Crisis Network Ireland, An Garda Síochána, Office of the DPP, Forensic Science Laboratory, HSE nursing and medical personnel and GPs have devised and updated the national guidelines by which these vital services are offered. The updated third edition of Recent Rape/Sexual Assault: National Guidelines on Referral and Forensic Clinical Examination in Ireland is being launched tomorrow morning (17th October) in Mullingar. These guidelines include sections covering An Garda Síochána, clinical forensic examinations, health checks, STI checks and treatment, psychological support, General Practitioners and legal issues.

An electronic copy of the Guidelines will be available on the RCNI website – www.rcni.ie from Friday lunchtime.