'Grace' case: Finian McGrath thinks 'Michael Noonan has no case to answer'

The Junior Minister behind a new Commission into an abusive foster home in Waterford thinks Michael Noonan has no case to answer.

Mr Noonan was Minister for Health during a time when a decision to remove a disabled woman from the home was overturned.

This afternoon Junior Minister Finian McGrath says he is going ahead with plans for a Commission of Investigation, despite calls from groups like Inclusion Ireland to abandon it.

Minister McGrath says the role of Mr Noonan will be examined, but he believes there is no case to answer.

He said: "I met Michael Noonan last with with officials from the Department of Health and we gave him an update on the correspondence that was there.

"We are satisfied that will bea dealt with within the commission but my gut reaction is that I don't think there is anything to answer."

Inclusion Ireland is claiming that people with intellectual disabilities are abused every day in institutions around the State.

The group says successive reports have highlighted the poor conditions experienced by the 3,000 people who live in institutional care around the country.

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the HSE today apologised to a woman known as Grace after two reports detailed how she was left in an abusive foster home for 20 years.

The Government is to set up a Commission of Investigation into the issue, but the CEO of Inclusion Ireland Paddy Connolly says he would rather see the money spent on proper facilities.

Mr Connolly said: "The abuse of not getting out for many hours in a day, spending 14 or 15 hours sitting in a chair, so we know without any doubt that people are being abused today in these settings.

"There is not sufficient energy from Government, the HSE, the Department of Health to move these people out of these inappropriate institutions."

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