Thursday 18 January 2018

'We didn't hide our identity'

Families group disappointed with interview remarks

Minister Simon Harris
Minister Simon Harris
John Hannigan

Deborah Coleman

The Sunbeam House Services Family Advocacy Group expressed disappointment with comments made by outgoing managing director John Hannigan in a radio interview last Friday.

During the interview on East Coast Radio, Mr Hannigan outlined that a delay in correspondence with families after the publication of the Jeyes Report was due to the fact that Sunbeam House Services did not know who was involved in the advocacy group.

He said that correspondence came from 'an anonymous email with no identifiable connections'.

'Nobody was willing to talk to us directly. We didn't know who were talking to,' he said.

The group however, has refuted this and said that each of the families in the group received individual registered letters of apology after the report was published.

They also said that the 112 members endorsed a representative committee and that the board and management of Sunbeam House Services and HSE were advised of this.

'Mr Hannigan was aware that those affected by the Jeyes Report had formed a family advocacy group. We have since met with the Board of SHS and the HSE endorsed the participation of this group in all consultations about restorative responses,' a spokesperson for the group said.

In the interview Mr Hannigan who will be leaving Sunbeam House Services to take up a new role at the end of the month, said he was 'disappointed' to learn through the media that Minister Simon Harris had commissioned a review of the service but said that the organisation was 'very happy to cooperate fully'.

He said that he was 'leaving with a heavy heart' not directly as a result of recent events but said that he believed Sunbeam House Services has a bright future ahead.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Minister Harris said that he 'continues to be fully supportive of the families and has met the group on a number of occasions'.

Wicklow People

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