Taoiseach Enda Kenny has confirmed that two reports into the ‘Grace’ foster home sex abuse scandal will be published this month.
Responding to questions from Labour leader Brendan Howlin, Mr Kenny said redacted versions of the report will be made available, which will pave the way for a full commission of inquiry to be established.
Despite promises that the terms of reference for the commission would be brought to Cabinet yesterday, they were not. Instead, it now looks like they will not be brought by Minister Finian McGrath until next week or the following week.
In the Dáil, Mr Kenny accepted the issue has “run for some time” and that, following meetings between the HSE and gardaí, redacted versions of the reports by Conal Devine and Resilience Ireland can be published.
Mr Howlin said he has been calling for the immediate publication of the expert reports into the ‘Grace’ foster care scandal.
“It is time the public knew exactly who was responsible for the horrific litany of abuse against ‘Grace’ and more than 40 other children and young people and how this came about,” he said.
“This is an issue that has been highlighted by many journalists, in particular in the Irish Examiner. Will the Taoiseach provide all parties with draft terms of reference for an inquiry and provide an indication of when that inquiry might begin its work,” Mr Howlin asked of the Taoiseach.
Mr Kenny said Mr McGrath has consistently stated his view that the HSE-commissioned reports should be published as soon as possible. This will now happen, he said.
“Why so long,” asked Mr Howlin, who praised Waterford TD John Deasy’s work in exposing this scandal.
Mr Kenny said arrangements will be put in place to ensure the contents of the reports are conveyed in a meaningful way to service users with varying degrees of disability.
A communications plan is also being developed given the potential impact of the reports on service users, their families, and the employees of relevant agencies. Dedicated teams will be put in place to provide all necessary assistance and support to those impacted, he added.
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