Calls for Tusla to publish report into care offered to teen before his death

Pressure is growing on the Child and Family Agency to publish a report into the care offered to Daniel McAnaspie, after one man was found guilty of his murder and another pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Calls for Tusla to publish report into care offered to teen before his death

Daniel, then aged 17 and in the care of the HSE at the time of his death, was killed in February 2010. His body was discovered months later in a ditch in Rathfeigh in Co Meath. He had been stabbed multiple times with a garden shears. He had been socialising with others in west Dublin the night he was killed.

On Tuesday, Richard Dekker, a 30-year-old from Blanchardstown, was found guilty by unanimous verdict of his murder, while another man, Trevor Noone, 28, had earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Attention has now turned to a special report, commissioned in 2010 but so far unpublished, into his care in the lead-up to his killing.

On May 21, 2010, the Health Service Executive announced the setting up of the Review Panel for Serious Incidents and Child Deaths, chaired by Helen Buckley, and a separate review team to look at the McAnaspie case.

It is understood that the report was completed in 2013 but that the McAnaspie family has never received a copy.

The family’s solicitor, Michael Finucane, said the McAnaspie family had previously sought access to the report but had been told this was not possible pending final determination of criminal proceedings.

He said that now those proceedings have concluded, the family would be reviewing its options and it is understood they are keen to gain access to the report into Daniel’s care as quickly as possible.

For her part, Dr Buckley told the Irish Examiner that she did not see any reason why the report could not now be published.

“The restriction is gone now,” she said. “I can’t see any reason for it not to be published.”

It is understood that gardaí had been keen for the report not to be published in case it impinged in any way on the criminal trials.

A first trial in relation to Daniel’s death collapsed in 2013, and a fresh trial was initially due to take place in late 2014.

In the event, the trial only took place in recent weeks, before concluding last Tuesday.

In response to questions regarding the likely publication of the report, which was conducted by a review team of Eamon McTernan, Liam O’Dalaigh, and Philip Mortell, alongside Dr Buckley, Tusla would not say if it was now planning to publish it.

A spokesperson for the Child and Family Agency said: “The National Review Panel is an independent panel which was set up to conduct reviews of child deaths, serious incidents, and produce reports that are factually based, and identify learnings with a view to improving the quality of services provided to children and families.

“From time to time the publication of such reports can be delayed due to a range of issues including on-going legal proceedings and to ensure the timing of publication is appropriate for those involved.”

At the time it was announced, the HSE said that the review would fully investigate the care provided to Daniel and the circumstances leading up to his disappearance and death, and that any concerns raised by family members, and other relevant parties, would be addressed in the course of the review.

More in this section