St. Patrick's of Kilkenny to fall within remit of revised 'Grace' case terms of reference – Kathleen Funchion TD
Speaking this afternoon on the revised 'Grace' case terms of reference Kathleen Funcion TD, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Childcare said:
“I welcome Minister McGrath's decision to revise and broaden the terms of reference for the investigation into the 'Grace' case. Yesterday, I along with other TDs called on the Minister to immediately revise the terms of reference in order to include all children who visited or stayed at the foster home in question.
“I hope that after many long years of abandonment by the State, the HSE and Tusla, the Commission of Investigation will provide 'Grace' and others who were failed and suffered in that same home, the justice and compensation they deserve.
“The repeated failures in 'Grace' being rescued is indicative of how the vulnerable in our society are often treated. It has proven to be a system that not only allows for this level of incompetence, but systematically attempts to cover up its failures. The HSE and the states’ agencies have once again, exposed their anarchic process of decision making and reluctance towards accountability. The Commission must bring fair retribution to those responsible for the years of negligence, lack of advocacy and protection, and need to be charged accordingly.
“I am also particularly concerned about my own constituency of Kilkenny regarding revelations that St. Patrick's centre sent children on respite trips to the foster home in question. St. Patrick's and any other homes which carried out similar visits should be included in the overall investigation and I intend to make sure this happens. I believe that the new terms of reference will provide for that.
“The investigation must also address the systemic failures of the South East Health Board in their placing of children in care, the lack of oversight and proper procedures when abuse allegations were made as far back as the start of the 90s and the complete mishandling of the case conference which was the point at which 'Grace' could have been saved and removed completely from the home.
“I will be following the progress of the investigation closely to ensure all of our concerns are addressed.”