GRACE – A Child in Bondage

“GRACE” is the intellectually disabled woman who (as a child) was left in the care of the same foster parents for another 13 years after the HSE stopped placing people there following a complaint in 1995 that a former resident had been sexually abused. “Grace”, who is unable to speak, was removed in 2009 in a bruised, emaciated state with symptoms of having been repeatedly raped.  Her story is bad.  But what is equally bad is the Irish government’s handling of the case, handling of Tusla.  Go to the end of the page where the story begins (in the news but not for Grace – it began for Grace long before that) and follow the promises, the timeline and the results….. no results as usual when it comes to government or state agency personnel.

A member of the three-person panel who made the decision to leave “Grace” in an abusive foster home in the southeast is now a senior official in Tusla, contrary to HSE claims that all three had left the public service.

Severe ‘systemic failings and shortcomings’ found in commission report of ‘Grace’ case – The Farrelly Commission was set up to investigate the circumstances around the referral of ‘Grace’ and 46 other intellectually disabled children and young adults to a foster home in the South East over three decades.  – 30 Sept 2021

How Grace fell through the cracks – There are a lot of children “falling through the cracks because Irish society does not want to know about them. – 30 Sept 2021

‘Grace’ foster parents had criminal convictions – 29 Sept 2021

DPP considers garda file on alleged abuse in ‘Grace case’ – It was submitted to the DPP more than a year ago, and it is understood it recommends prosecutions. – 29 Aug 2021

‘Grace’ inquiry into sexual abuse case of disabled girl expected to be delayed again – The Inquiry, headed up by barrister Marjorie Farrelly, was established after the Irish Examiner in 2015 and 2016 revealed the scale of abuse against the girl and 46 other children and young adults who stayed at a foster home in Waterford. – 8 May 2020

HSE appears before the PAC – Aoife Hegarty blog – 13 June 2019

Lawyers blamed for slow progress of ‘Grace’ inquiry – all about the money – meanwhile, how many more children are abused in foster care? –  22 May 2019

Probe into Michael Noonan’s handling of Grace case – 16 Nov 2017

Michael Noonan’s handling of the ‘Grace’ case will be examined next year – Last year, The Irish Examiner published details of correspondence from August 1996 that indicated Grace’s foster father wrote to Noonan, who was health minister at the time, about the decision to remove her, appealing for her to remain in the home.  The decision to remove Grace from the home was later overturned.  – 16 Nov 2017

Finian McGrath: ‘I cried many nights’ over Grace scandal – Tears are not much good – did he do anything practical? – 8 Aug 2017

Some staff involved in care of Grace still working for Tusla – One would imagine there is a file for every child in Tusla care.. indeed they even have extensive files on parents of special needs children – but they “have to work very hard” to identify the case workers on the “Grace” case?  Really?  Seriously?  Surely if their record keeping is in such a mess the managers should all be fired? –  Unless, of course, there is a cover up going on – 22 June 2017

Appearing before the committee this morning, Tony O’Brien said staff members were also given promotions.  He said one member of staff, referred to as H3, was promoted on 1 December 1991.  Another staff member, H7, was promoted on the 10 June 1996 and remained on that grade until retirement in 2010.  O’Brien confirmed that in total, three were promoted during the course of their careers. – 15 June 2017

The Child and Family Agency, Tusla, has launched its Child Protection and Welfare Strategy for the next five years.  This was a joke because nothing has changed in 2021 –  22 May 2017

No-one in authority will ever pay for the betrayal of Grace. This is Ireland. – Not only that – but because no one will ever pay, the abuse of other children in Tusla’s care continues.  Facebook users are sharing their own stories of Tusla abuse practically every day – nobody cares, nobody wants to know – until it comes to your own doorstep in some fashion – 3 May 2017

‘Grace’ whistleblower: ‘Absolutely worth’ making disclosures – 28 April 2017

Dublin foster care service met just one of 26 national standards – Hiqa data also shows some foster carers not vetted by gardaí despite 2011 guidelines – 18 April 2017

€6.3 million settlement approved for woman at centre of Grace case – 17 April 2017

“MARY”

‘Mary’ case referred to Garda over reckless endangerment claims – 17 Sept 2019

Damning information found in review of ‘Mary’ foster care case – 30 March 2017

It’s understood that after allegations were made against the foster family in 2014, a number of children in their care were removed. – But ‘Mary’ remained as she had turned 18 and was therefore deemed to be an adult, sources familiar with the report said last night. – 28 March 2017

Publication of the report of a case review into the care of ‘Mary’

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Katherine Zappone – Minister for Children

Key staff member in ‘Grace’ case still working for TuslaHSE boss Tony O’Brien confirmed that the individual still works part-time for the Child and Family Agency, as he appeared at the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee to correct evidence he gave last year. Mr O’Brien told the PAC in February 2016 that three individuals involved in a 1996 decision to leave Grace in the home “are no longer in the public service”.  Mr O’Brien said “there are other people who were involved in aspects of decisions around Grace both in 1996 and at other times who currently work in the HSE or Tusla and who may face disciplinary action now that both reports have been published.” – 24 March 2017

Tony O’Brien – HSE Director

Noonan ‘not to blame’ in Grace scandal – 13 March 2017

Micheal Noonan: I had ‘no role’ in Grace scandal – 10 March 2017

‘Grace’ inquiry to be extended amid claims of a cover-up by HSE – so, what’s new?  Everything is covered up unless there are brave whistleblowers ready to speak out. – 9 March 2017

The Government has re-written the terms for the Grace inquiry after criticism – The new terms were circulated to TDs last night. There will be two phases:

  • The first will deal with Grace case specifically.
  • The second will deal with the care and decision-making process in respect of 46 other children who passed through the home in question.

The new terms will be made available on the Department of Health website from later today, it’s planned. They will be debated and voted on in the Dáil at 12.45pm. – 9 March 2017

St. Patrick’s of Kilkenny to fall within remit of revised ‘Grace’ case terms of reference – Kathleen Funchion TD – Any result? – 9 March 2017

‘Nobody will be excluded’: Govt promises answers in Grace inquiry within 6 months – 7 March 2017

Tusla carrying out review of staff identified in ‘Grace’ case reports – 28 Feb 2017

Failing Grace – 28 Feb 2017

Co-Leader of the Social Democrats, Róisín Shortall, raising the ‘Grace’ abuse case under Leaders’ Questions – 28 Feb 2017

Who is ‘Grace’ and what happened to her? – Disabled woman was left in foster home for 20 years despite sexual abuse allegations – 28 Feb 2017

Austin Currie drawn into case of girl at ‘foster’ home – 20 Feb 2016

Michael Noonan ‘didn’t want to know about sex abuse claims’ – Barrister Garry O’Halloran, who is a former Fine Gael councillor and also a former chairman of the South Eastern Health Board accused Mr Noonan of “doing a runner” in 1997 from a meeting to discuss concerns about sex abuse involving children.  “I went to the taoiseach, John Bruton, who said it was a matter for the minister for health. When I got no place, I then submitted by resignation from FG,” he added.  Mr O’Halloran said he resigned from Fine Gael because of Mr Noonan’s actions. – 16 Feb 2016

Foster care case: ‘These are allegations of rape using implements and horrific sexual abuse’ – 2 Feb 2016

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