HSE accused of lies over abuse victim 'apology'
The HSE has been accused of lying to the Dáil spending watchdog about an apology supposedly given to an intellectually disabled woman who was abused while in foster care.
It was claimed by the HSE that an expression of regret about "significant failings" in the care of the woman was made at a meeting of its officials with the abuse victim and her care worker.
However, those present have since confirmed that no apology was made. The HSE later claimed a "regrettable misunderstanding" had occurred and a formal written apology has now been issued.
However, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman John McGuinness said the HSE would have to appear before it to answer questions.
PAC vice-chairman John Deasy said the HSE officials who attended the meeting maintained they issued no apology and that they were not instructed to give one.
The woman was one of 47 children placed at a foster home over a 26-year period. She spent 20 years in the home - 17 of which came after the then South Eastern Health Board was informed of abuse allegations there. Two independent investigations have been carried out, but the reports remain unpublished. A Garda inquiry is ongoing.