No excuses, let’s have real action - Foster home abuse scandal

LIKE a good German in the 1930s trying to understand what was happening in their country, most HSE employees, and some gardaí too, must be appalled at the shocking, bewildering relevations of neglect and cruelty around the foster care scandal in the south east.

No excuses, let’s have real action - Foster home abuse scandal

If they are distressed then the great majority of people are more than angry and utterly disinterested in whatever version of pass-the-parcel is offered to try to protect the officials who plainly failed in their duty of care.

That the woman at the centre of the scandal — Grace — was returned to the foster home on the very night, in March 2009, that the HSE reported their suspicions to gardaí utterly beggars belief. She was left in that house for another four months despite alternative accommodation being available, pointing to an amoral indifference where there should have been comfort. That local gardaí were so disbelieving is more than appalling. That another vulnerable person was placed in that home until last April moves the scandal to another plane, a far darker and more challenging one.

When the reports on institutionalised abused were published in the last decade, we took comfort in the belief — yet another national delusion — that such abuse could not recur. How wrong we were. It must be a priority of the next Government to revise employment contracts that allow accountability, and the fate of vulnerable people like Grace, to be irrelevant ideas in our health services. Enough, enough, enough!

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