Brothers contradict HSE evidence on Grace case

Evidence given by the HSE to the Public Accounts Committee as to when it knew about allegations of abuse involving the Grace foster home has been sharply contradicted by the Brothers of Charity.

The HSE has been called to clarify “the significant anomalies in evidence” by a former PAC vice chairman, John Deasy, who has been to the fore of exposing the abuse scandal.

In documents given to the PAC in December 2015, it was claimed the South Eastern Health board first knew of allegations around the home in 1992. However, a new statement from the Brothers of Charity, which is to be discussed at the PAC today and seen by the Irish Examiner, shows they knew as early as late 1990 and early 1991.

The whistleblower in the case is to appear before the PAC in private session.

The Brothers stopped sending people to the home for respite care in 1990 on foot of concerns and claim they told the health board in writing of those concerns.

“In preparations for our summer scheme in 1991, there were concerns following a social work visit to the foster family in the south east that we understand is at the centre of the current controversy,” the statement says. “These concerns, which were conveyed in writing to the then SEHB, related to a breach of trust with the family as incomplete information was given by the family to the social worker regarding the number of people then residing at the foster home.”

But the clear contradiction is also significant in relation as to how the case of Sarah, another young girl with disabilities who resided in the foster home until 1992, particularly as to how her case was investigated.

Both Grace and Sarah, were subjected to the most horrific and savage sexual abuse, according to their families in the foster home.

A spokesperson for the HSE said: “As the HSE has not seen the statement from the Brothers of Charity, we are not in a position to make any comment. In any case, matters such as this, are the subject of the commission of Investigation which has already commenced its work.”

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