‘Grace’ commission of investigation to be formally approved

Two-phase inquiry will examine alleged abuse of 47 residents at foster home

The Government will formally approve the commission of investigation into the case of ‘Grace’ and another 46 individuals who lived in a foster home in the southeast.

The Government will formally approve the commission of investigation into the case of ‘Grace’ and another 46 individuals who lived in a foster home in the southeast.

 

On Tuesday, the Government will formally approve the commission of investigation into the case of “Grace” and another 46 individuals who lived in a foster home in the southeast.

Revised terms of reference of the inquiry were agreed by the Dáil last week. The commission is expected to last two years, with an estimated overall cost of €7 million to €8 million, including third-party legal costs.

The Minister of State for People with Disabilities, Finian McGrath, is expected to bring a memorandum to Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting seeking the formal establishment of the commission.

Under the revised terms, the commission will hold a two-phased investigation into the foster care home, where a large number of children resided over the years, despite allegations of sexual abuse.

The first phase of the commission will be chaired by Marjorie Farrelly SC and will centre on the Grace case. It is expected that this phase will last a year.

Ms Farrelly is expected to complete a report that will make recommendations pertaining to further investigations based on its finding.

12-month phase

The second phase, which is expected to last a further 12 months, will investigate the care of the other 46 children and young adults who were lived in the home.

The commission will also examine the decision-making of the HSE as well as examine the treatment of the whistleblowers who first brought Grace’s case to the attention of the authorities.

Mr McGrath is understood to be strongly of the view that the Grace case be dealt with first, and than all other cases be dealt with.

Grace is a women with intellectual disabilities who, despite a number of sexual abuse allegations, remained resident for 20 years in the foster home where the alleged abuses occurred.