Wednesday 23 August 2017

HSE waited three years to notify gardaí in Grace case

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Ian Begley

The Health Service Executive waited three years to notify gardaí about a major report into the care of an intellectually disabled young woman at a foster home.

That is despite HSE telling the Dáil Public Accounts Committee it could not publish the Conal Devine Report into the treatment of the woman, known only as Grace, due to a request from An Garda Síochána.

Documents obtained by RTE's 'This Week' programme show the first contact between the HSE and the gardaí on the report was March 2015, exactly three years after the completion of the Conal Devine Report.

The first contact with gardaí was made when a solicitor from the HSE contacted a superintendent to notify him of the HSE's plans to publish the report and to query whether there would be any objections from the force.

Dr Cathal Morgan, the head of operations in the HSE's Disability Service, said he couldn't explain the three-year delay.

He had been of the understanding that gardaí did not want the report released due to ongoing investigations.

The report found health service staff failed in their duty of care towards the young woman, who was left in the foster home for 20 years despite evidence she and other children were being abused.

Irish Independent

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