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‘Grace’ case pitfalls must remain a priority for Túsla and HSE – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

28 February, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Speaking today on the back of reports published by the HSE, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD emphasised the need of both the HSE and Túsla to remain vigilant to many pitfalls identified in Conal Devine’s, Resilience Ireland, and Conor Dignam’s papers into the apparent failings to protect the child at the centre of the ‘Grace’ case. 

Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;

“Grace has endured great suffering for many years. Today’s reports are deeply shocking and heart-breaking in truth. They appear to point towards a severe amount of negligence on the HSE’s part spanning over many years, despite repeated red flags being raised on a number of occasions.”

“It was only two weeks ago that the credibility of Túsla was brought into sharp focus for its own issues surrounding procedures regarding child protection, and the manner in which files were managed and reviewed, so it is hard to set this aside this as a historical error when we still face many issues today, and indeed allegations of abuse last up until 2009.”

“Conor Dignam’s report in particular highlighted that it is alleged there may have been files that were deliberately destroyed in the ‘Grace’ case which is alarming, and raises questions, much like in the case of Túsla files held on Sgt. Maurice McCabe, as to who has access to files held.”

“Policy should ensure that files held are dealt with in a very professional manner that does not infringe on Data Protections guidelines, and secondly ensures a level of accountability when allegations of malpractice arrive.”

“I welcome the apologies issued today by Ministers and state bodies, but this unfortunately does nothing to reassure us that nothing of this nature can ever occur again. The Devine and Resilience Ireland reports contain over 30 recommendations on improving procedure. The Minister for Children & Minister for Health should outline what has been implemented.” 

“That reassurance is something which we as elected reps, and just as importantly the general public, require as a matter of priority. But we also need accountability, and those responsible for these failings.” 

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