How the system failed Tracey
THE concern of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs for the sensitivities of the parents of Tracey Fay would be admirable were it not for the fact that details of a massive failure of child protection agencies might never have come to light had Alan Shatter not launched his "ambush", as the minister described it, and released the report on Tracey's life and death.
The troubled teenager died on the streets in 2002. The subsequent investigation, which went on for six years, uncovered a chaotic performance by state agencies and was never published. Barry Andrews has said that this was because the HSE had been trying, but had not succeeded in getting the permission of Tracey's parents before such sensitive information could be published. He denied a cover-up.
Tracey Fay's is the latest in a succession of horror stories involving the abuse or neglect of children. When the more shocking cases come to light, a horrified public ask how such a thing could happen and the authorities promise fresh safeguards -- yet systemic failures persist.