The woman who ran a ‘foster home’ in the southeast, which is to be the focus of a commission of investigation, has denied allegations that children suffered serious sexual abuse in the house. Photograph: Getty Images

Woman denies claims that children, including ‘Grace’, suffered sexual abuse in house

A commission of investigation  will investigate allegations of serious sexual abuse and the relationship between South Eastern Health Board (SEHB), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the home

Children who stayed in her home over 30 years were ‘very happy’, claims woman

UN committee says Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act  ‘prevents doctors from being able to provide services in accordance with objective medical practice’.

Child’s rights committee says schools ‘continuing to practise’ religious discrimination

‘My sister Sarah is the most incredible person I know. She is a survivor’.Stock photograph: Getty

‘It has not taken away her capacity to love or her wonderful hearty and infectious laugh’

HSE director gereral Tony O’Brien at Leinster House, ahead of speaking to the Public Accounts Committee about the handling of abuse allegations surrounding a foster home in the southeast. Photograph: Leah Farrell/

Analysis: A critical decision by three members of health board remains unexplained

HSE director general  Tony O Brien arrives at Leinster House for a Public Accounts Committe meeting at Leinster House on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

HSE had ‘no effective defence’ to care failings of vulnerable children – director general

 HSE director general Tony O’Brien  said Ann’s family had been encouraged to stop sending their daughter to the foster home from 2009 but were not told of the abuse concerns.

‘Ann’ continued to stay at foster home for four years after HSE removed last vulnerable adult

Tony O’Brien, HSE chief executive, appears before the Public Accounts Committee on February 2nd, 2016. Screengrab photograph: Oireachtas TV

Tony O’Brien discussing southeast abuse case before Public Accounts Committee

The whistleblower says when he became aware of Grace in 2007, she had not had a HSE visit in six years. Photograph: Getty Images

Social worker brought concerns to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar in September 2014

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: he and Minister of State for Primary Care, Mental Health and Disability Kathleen Lynch met the HSE whistleblower. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Former social worker says he raised safety concerns about woman staying in home

There are allegations that children and adults with intellectual disabilities, some of whom are mute, were seriously sexually assaulted at the home.

Concerns were first raised in 1990s but there have been no prosecutions

Minister of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch discussed the case with HSE director general Tony O’Brien. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tánaiste says a full judicial inquiry is required into allegations about foster home

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly with TD John Lyons in a modular home at Balbutcher Lane, Poppintree, Ballymun, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister says prefabricated units in Ballymun ‘beat normal houses’ on many standards

HSE director general Tony O’Brien is  due to appear before the PAC tomorrow.

At least one person was allowed to stay four years after “Grace” was removed in 2009

It had been reported that Grace, who is now in her 40s, was the last person placed in the home. Photograph: Getty Images

One placement continued privately between family and care home until October 2013

The HSE has admitted it did not apologise to the alleged victim of serious sexual abuse at a HSE-registered foster care home in the southeast.

HSE accused of lying to PAC over case involving woman with intellectual disability

The woman, who now lives independently with the support of specialised staff, was placed in the foster home in the 1980s. Photograph: Thinkstock

Damage to internal organs occurred in location at centre of separate investigation

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin: announced in October the Early Childhood Care and Education scheme would be available to all children, between the ages of three and 5-and-a-half from September 2016. Photograph: Sara Freund

Working conditions must be addressed before extending scheme, inquiry hears

Gandon House: Bars placed on the window ledges at the Department of Social Protection, Amiens street, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times

Department of Social Protection says landlord made decision to install raised bars

Savita Halappanavar

Broadside: Anti-abortion campaigners are being disingenuous when they say Halappanavar’s death had nothing to do with her request (...)

Travellers protest outside Louth Co Council offices in Dundalk after the evictions of 23 familiesfrom Woodland Park halting site last week. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson

Residents evicted from unofficial site due to ‘fire safety concerns’ protest in Dundalk

The Woodland Park unofficial halting site in Dundalk, Co Louth from where several traveller families have been evicted. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Officials checking claims suggestion was made as solution to housing difficulties

A mobile home being removed for transportation following an eviction notice at the site in Woodland Park, Dundalk, Co Louth. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Louth County Council served eviction notices on 23 Traveller families at Woodland Park

 Cathal Morgan of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, right: “For the love of God, please can everyone get behind modular housing?” Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Sixteen housing projects face delays over objections by locals, council report says

 Ethel McDonagh and two-year-old daughter Lacey-Leah as their home was being removed following an eviction notice at the site in Woodland Park, Dundalk. Photographs: Dara Mac Dónail

Traveller family says they were given just hours to pack belongings at Dundalk site

Louth County Council said its decision to evict Traveller families from Woodland Park (above) on the outskirts of Dundalk  was based “solely on its concerns for people’s health and safety”. File photograph: Google Street View

Immediate priority is to ensure council gets emergency accommodation for families, says solicitor

Tánaiste Joan Burton with Abi Boxshall (2) at the launch of Labour’s ‘Standing Up For Families’ campaign in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Party says it would also cap the amount charged for childcare at €4.25 an hour

Although the tax relief measure was included in the Finance Act and has been in effect since January 1st, the Revenue Commissioners has just begun implementing it. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Increased relief will be given retrospectively at the end of three-year period

FAI chief executive John Delaney reportedly visited local soccer clubs and a barber shop with Alan Kelly in his Tipperary constituency and urged people to vote for him. File photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Burton and Donohoe reject claim that FAI chief executive’s canvassing is ‘inappropriate’

 Children’s Ombudsman Niall Muldoon: asked after Thursday’s examination whether there had been “ongoing dialogue” between his office and Justice on extending his remit to direct provision centres, he said there had not. Photograph: Sara Freund

Most issues in direct provision centres were best ‘resolved locally’, Government tells EU

Ending religious discrimination in schools’ admission policies may require a constitutional referendum, Minister for Children James Reilly has said. Photograph: Thinkstock

James Reilly says it is not appropriate a child should have to be baptised to go to school

The Irish Deaf Society is calling for the recognition of Irish Sign Language as an official language. Photograph: Thinkstock

Ongoing issues include continued holding of asylum seeker children in direct provision

Conor O’Keefe at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday: he was sentenced to three years for having sex with a 15-year-old girl he groomed online. Photograph: Court Collins.

Parents urged by safety expert to have ‘honest and open relationship’ with their children

The Geneva-based United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child  will seek updates on the State’s compliance across a range of areas including access to healthcare. File photograph: Getty Images

Nearly 18 per cent of Irish children are now at risk of poverty, commission says in report

 Tom and Elizabeth Moorehouse with their four-week-old baby Kathleen at the Traveller site where they live near Bray, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Bray Traveller site in appalling condition due to legal limbo

Mowlam Healthcare, responding to the Hiqa report, told Hiqa  residents of Waterford Nursing Home who were up and dressed early had chosen to get up at that time. File photograph: Getty Images

Authority received two separate reports raising concerns over Waterford facility

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly: said he intended to put the measures in place early this year. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister Alan Kelly wants private investment in social and affordable accommodation

Alan Kelly said housing and homelessness is more of a concern, and takes up 50% of his times. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for the Environment says water charges takes up “3-5% of my time” now

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, right, says the market musy be fairly managed. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister says housing should no longer be considered a source of ‘massive profits’

Aeriel footage of flooding in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Increased risk of flooding along Liffey, more than 200 homes uninhabitable nationwide

The Sheridan family, Mary, Peter, Brian and Alice, with Paddy (seated): The staff at Forest House are Paddy’s “family. They know his likes and dislikes”. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Residents’ families say no consultation on proposal to ‘commission out’ management

 Flowers left in sympithy at the scene of the Carrickmines fire in which 10 people were killed at a halting site on Glenamuck road in south  Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Travellers: Carrickmines tragedy highlights appalling conditions in which some must live

Most recent national figures, for October, show 1,638 children from 774 families in homeless accommodation. Photograph: The Irish Times

More than 1,000 under-eights will spend Christmas in emergency accommodation

Children  living in direct provision at a protest outside the Department of Justice earlier this year. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Government moves on child rights ahead of UN committee hearing in January

A shocking 11.2 per cent of our children – 140,000 of them – were in consistent poverty last year. Photograph: Thinkstock

Broadside: The rights of these children, set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, are not being upheld

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly has promised a new government strategy for the private rented sector if Labour is re-elected. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister promises new government strategy for sector if party is returned to power

Charity recored 20 per cent increase in number of people seeking service

 Travellers are described as “one of the most marginalised and excluded...groups in Irish society”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Report of Irish Council for Civil Liberties submitted to UN committee

Stays of 12 months ordered to let Wicklow families find accommodation

Data from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show in the week of November 23rd to 29th there were 1,466 children in 705 families in emergency accommodation in Dublin. Photograph: Getty Images

Majority of these families are losing private rented homes but unable to find alternative

Jacinta and Chloe  with their Dad. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Jacinta: ‘That B&B was no good because it was not like home. We were all in one room’

 Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan  allowed for  consultation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Funding of service should switch from HSE to Department of Environment, says study

In Dublin, according to the Unite union, 164,000 people (13 per cent of the population) don’t have enough money to heat their homes adequately. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Enforced coldness’ due to fuel poverty is problem for 16% of population

Dr Eoin Daly of NUI Galway said arguments citing “constitutional barriers to change and reform” in the area of religion in schools “have been overstated”. File photograph: Getty Images

Arguments citing ‘constitutional barriers to reform’ on religion in schools are ‘overstated’

Devin Doyle and his wife Nanou with their children Juliette (2) and Valentine (6). Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Valentine Doyle (6) sits at back of her class for 30 minutes each day when subject is taught

The Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan. She announced on Tuesday that she would rescind “rule 68” next month. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister’s spokesman says faith schools may continue to teach religion daily

Ninety-one people were sleeping rough on November 30th - the night when the annual winter rough-sleeper count is carried out. This was compared with 168 on that night in 2014.  File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Ninety-one people sleeping rough on November 30th for annual winter count

Some NGOs working with asylum-seekers and migrants,  have already said the Bill is rushed and called for it to be withdrawn to give more time for debate.  Photograph: David Sleator

Letter to TDs says group is concerned about protections for vulnerable children

Kathleen and Patrick Sherlock with their children (from left) Edward, Patrick, Michael, Martin, Jim, Mary-Ellen, John and Stacey. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Family of 11, driven to live in cramped caravans, claims damp making children sick

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy: In May, she ruled the Circuit Court did not have jurisdiction to hear a case in which Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank sought to repossess the home of a Cavan couple. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Conflicting High Court judgments result in cases being adjourned as banks seek clarity

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said “one in five families rent”. Photograph: PA

People renting in commuter counties and those in Dublin and Cork set to benefit most

One barrister said the conflicting judgments were “causing additional delays for borrowers” and “further distress to already distressed borrowers”. Photograph: PA

High Court judges differ on power of Circuit Court to hear bank applications

Chief Justice Susan Denham. “The report highlights a lack of availability of suitable and appropriate services for vulnerable parents.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cheif Justice says voice of child must be heard, reiterates call for dedicated court

Labour Senator and right-to-choose campaigner Ivana Bacik said the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission should consider taking a case to the High Court in Dublin in the light of the ruling on abortion in Belfast.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Bacik says one could ‘absolutely draw the conclusion’ Republic’s laws breach rights

Children from ethnic minorities, including Travellers, are about seven times more likely to be subject to care proceedings than other white Irish children. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Parental substance abuse and disability most common reasons for State intervention

The report said it was notable that the three young people who died whilst in care all died from suicide. Photograph: Thinkstock

Report finds 26 children died while known to protection services last year, a five-year high

One Family chief executive Karen Kiernan:  “It is unacceptable to continue to sentence a generation of children to a lifetime of poverty and poor life chances.”  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

EU income survey says proportion at risk of poverty has grown since 2013, from 15.2% to 16.3% last year

Bernadette Opalla, from the Philippines, at the launch of a report, entitled All Work and Low Pay: The Experience of Migrants Working in Ireland,   by the Migrants Rights Centre. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Union president wants to ensure employers who do not pay workers are held accountable

 Sally-Anne Berry on the site of her home   at the Labre Park halting site in Ballyfermot, Dublin.  She and her husband and two daughters, aged three and three months,  live in a small caravan.   Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

‘We’re all on top of each other here and there’s nowhere safe to let children out’

Some 140,000 children are living in consistent poverty.

CSO income survey shows one-parent families twice as likely to be poor

Volunteer Yvonne Byrne delivering food to Selina Hall at her home in Ballyfermot in west Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan.

Volunteers in Ballyfermot say demand for service ‘shows how desperate people are’

These first 22 modular homes are to be on a pilot basis with another 128 to follow shortly after under a fast-tracked procurement process. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Tyrone company Western Building Systems to provide first 22 houses at site in Ballymun

 Minister of State for Equality  Aodhán Ó Ríordáin at Leinster House, Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Figures show an increase in the number of deportation orders being quashed

Demand for Amen’s counselling service for male victims of domestic violence increased by over 100 per cent, with five volunteer counsellors providing 214 counselling hours through 2014, at the organisation’s offices in Navan, Co Meath, and in Dublin, Amen’s report said. File photograph: Getty Images

2014 report shows demand up for counselling, helpline and one-to-one support sessions

Alan Kelly: The instruction to let him know well in advance of openings has caused tension, particularly over the opening of 52 homes in the Glen in Cork city earlier this year.

Minister for the Environment wants to know about announcements in advance

An anti-racism protest organised by Enar Ireland outside Leinster House. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Victims of attacks do not believe gardaí will treat their experiences seriously, survey says

John Lynch in his home in Bray, Co Wicklow, with a framed photograph of his brother Jimmy who died in the Carrickmines fire where 10 perished. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

John Lynch frets over safety of children and grandchildren at three-bedroom Bray home

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly:  “Anybody who wants a bed over this Christmas period will get it.” Photograph: Eric Luke

More than 300 beds will be available over the Christmas, Kelly tells homeless forum

“Families who are homeless are often squeezed into one tiny hotel room – nowhere to cook or for children to play.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Latest figures show nearly 5,000 people in emergency accommodation across State

The voices of non-Catholic parents will grow louder against this state-sanctioned indoctrination of their children. Photograph: Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty Images

Broadside: Many non-Catholic parents struggle to get a primary school place for their children – that can’t continue

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin signing the Book of Codolence at the Pro- Cathedral following mass on Saturday  where he spoke of the attacks in Paris. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Refugees are ‘fleeing from exactly the kind of thing that happened in Paris’, says Dublin Archbishop

 Sam McGuinness of Simon: “Children are forced to lay their head in inadequate accommodation, scared and vulnerable, without a safe home to look to this Christmas.”  Photograph: Dave Meehan

Charities call for State measures to curb trend as tenants squeezed out by rising rents

In the Cork Circuit Court, Judge Donagh McDonagh struck out the cases because the bank was named as Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank, rather than Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank PLC

Judge blocks three Bank of Ireland actions as it got its name wrong on legal paperwork

Waking the Feminists meeting hears call for equal advancement of women artists

Some 889 applications for repossession were refused by the courts so far this year. Photograph: Getty Images

More than 7,000 dwellings targeted by lenders up to 2015, says Courts Service

The falling number of orders in Dublin is a result of fewer cases being lodged, or more lenders and borrowers coming to mutual arrangements before the case reaches the point of repossession. Photograph: PA

Biggest increases in urban centres outside Dublin and in adjacent commuter counties

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly in Phibsborough, Dublin, as they unveiled the housing package after months of discussion between the two departments. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Threshold and Simon Communities: rents should be linked to consumer price index

 Ian Cleary: “I’m looking for a two-bedroom place, so I can start taking my daughter again at the weekends.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Baker Ian Cleary (42) found himself on the streets when his rented flat was repossessed

“The Taoiseach keeps talking about the emergency response to homelessness as if that is good enough.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

No let up in demand for emergency accommodation as flow into homelessness continues

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tenants express concern over price increases in advance of two-year fixed rent legislation

 Dublin local authorities held an open Modular Housing Demonstration Project in Dublin. Pictured is the exterior of the Skyclad home. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Many people ‘badly hurt by the Celtic Tiger hangover’, says Dick Brady

 Margaret O’Reilly with her baby, Nona, in their caravan in Kilbarry halting site, Waterford. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Families in Waterford housing scheme have to deal with cold, mould and cramped conditions

Chair of the Irish Traveller Movement Brigid Quilligan (left) and supporters walked out the Traveller accommodation conference at Dublin Castle today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Groups stage ‘peaceful protest’ at conference against system that is ‘failing’ community

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly continues to battle for rent certainty measures. Photograph: Getty Images

National Economic and Social Council critical of ‘surprising’ data in DKM report

Minister with Responsibility for National Drug Strategy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin. Wants to remove stigma of criminal convictionsPhotograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says Misuse of Drugs Bill set to unblock legislative obstacles

 Brendan Ogle of Right2Change. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Right2Change briefing reveals discord between election partners on left-wing alliance

The entrance to the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council Ballyogan depot car park, on the Ballyogan Road where a temporary halting site for the survivors of the Carrickmines fire is being set up. The survivors are expected to move in next Sunday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

People have traumatised but that shock is turning to outrage, writes Kitty Holland

At the funeral of Thomas, Sylvia, Christopher, Jim and Mary Connors in The Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally, Sandyford. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

A happy day spent together, with the children playing in the garden, before tragedy

The scene at the funerals of Thomas and Sylvia Connors and their children Christopher, Jim and baby Mary at the Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Thomas, Sylvia and children Jim, Christie and Mary Connors to be buried in Wexford

In July the Housing First rough-sleeper outreach team supported 19 families at risk as well as at least four families who were verified as sleeping rough in their cars with children. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Rough-sleeper outreach team verifies 13 families as having slept in cars or tents

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