Thursday 18 January 2018

Tracey's tragic death sparked probe

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald


THE tragic life and death of troubled teenager Tracey Fay sparked a national outcry that led to the establishment of the Independent Review into the Deaths of Children in Care (IRDCC).

Tracey Fay died in January 2002 of a drug overdose at the age of 18, four years after being admitted to care.

A HSE report into Ms Fay's death was leaked to the Dail by Fine Gael TD, and now Justice Minister, Alan Shatter in March 2010.

Mr Shatter took the unprecedented step of placing the report before both Houses of the Oireachtas in a move that was condemned by former children's minister Barry Andrews as "an ambush".

The damning report found that during her first six months in care the teenager was accommodated in nine different places, spending 255 nights in 20 different B&Bs. She also used drugs, was sexually exploited and had two pregnancies.

Ms Fay was found dead in January 2002 after taking heroin and ecstasy.

Details of other children who died in state care also emerged at this time.

These included David Foley, a 17-year-old who died from an overdose three years after he voluntarily sought care from the state and Kim Donovan, a 15-year-old girl who was found dead at a city centre B&B from a suspected drugs overdose.

The leaked report into Ms Fay's death ultimately led to the establishment of the IDRCC after the scandal paralysed the health authorities and the Government -- who could not state precisely how many children had died in state care.

Irish Independent

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