Top Irish clinicians file formal complaint over dangerous care of gender-confused kids

The Republic of Ireland must stop driving gender-confused kids down the path of ‘sex-swap’ procedures, top clinicians have warned.

In a formal complaint to the Health Information and Quality Authority, Prof Donal O’Shea and Dr Paul Moran of the National Gender Service criticised the Health Service Executive (HSE) for referring gender-confused children to ‘trans-affirming’ clinics overseas.

The clinicians highlighted “a series of cases as examples of harm and risk caused to Irish children by these services”. Dr Moran warned that if a clinic does not address a child’s other issues, then it can heighten problems such as “social avoidance” and “functional impairment”.


Ireland does not have specialist psychological services for gender-confused children. Instead they were referred to the notorious NHS Tavistock clinic in London, until it stopped accepting new referrals in October 2022. According to the HSE, 229 children were referred to the Tavistock between 2015 and 2022.

Prof O’Shea said that in 2016 the National Gender Service started to see young adults who were “clearly not ready” for the procedures they started at Tavistock.

He said: “Individuals that we did not think were ready were well under way with their transition and having great mental health difficulties as a result of that.”

The controversial London clinic is due to close in the coming months after an independent report by Dr Hilary Cass found it was not a “safe or viable long-term option”. The HSE intends to refer children to the two regional hubs that will replace Tavistock, which are set to operate under interim guidance informed by the Cass Review’s findings.

‘Incredible risk’

In September, Prof O’Shea criticised the HSE for inviting activists to create a trans-affirming clinical pathway, which would be “dangerous and goes against all emerging evidence of the need to be safe and careful”.

Under its proposals, children would be referred to a Belgian clinic by Dr Vanessa Lacey, a former senior manager at the trans-affirming Transgender Equality Network Ireland.

Despite previously being reprimanded for raising concerns over the referral of Irish children to the Tavistock clinic, Prof O’Shea said: “It’s more important to speak out when there is a culture in an organisation that is prepared to lie, intimidate, mislead” and use “funds to put vulnerable individuals at incredible risk”.

Also see:

Trainee therapist expelled over gender-critical views reaches settlement

Gender-confused kids in Scotland set to still receive experimental trans drugs

NHS: ‘Kids should not be referred to gender identity clinics without parental consent’

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