Report summary into abuse at Donegal disability centre to be published

Families of ‘Brandon’s’ victims to get advance notice of findings on Wednesday

The executive summary of the "Brandon" report into prolonged sexual abuse of intellectually disabled residents at a HSE-run disability centre in Donegal, will be published on Thursday.

A senior source told The Irish Times that following consultations with gardaí, the 13-page executive summary would be provided to the families of Brandon's victims on Wednesday in advance of publication. Staff at Ard Greine Court campus in Stranorlar, where the abuse took place, will get copies and be briefed on Wednesday.

The Minister of State for disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, is awaiting legal advice from the Attorney General as to whether she can publish the full report.

The Brandon report, completed by the National Independent Review Panel (NIRP) in August 2020, finds that a former resident, given the pseudonym Brandon, perpetrated at least 108 sexual assaults on upwards of 18 intellectually disabled adults, most of them non-verbal, between 2003 and 2016.


It says the “common strategy” to manage Brandon – to move him from ward to ward – “simply gave him access to a new cohort of clients whom he proceeded to assault until he was moved on again”.

None of the families was told about the abuse of their loved ones until December 2018, a decade after the abuse in some cases. While several have called for publication of the full report, the HSE has maintained its stance that it will publish only the executive summary.

The report says Brandon’s assaults continued “unabated” and with the “full knowledge” of management.

Nursing staff tried repeatedly to stop the abuse, reporting it to management, it says. In 2011 a number of experts recommended Brandon’s contact with other residents be stopped and his victims’ families be told. The assaults, however, continued and families were not informed for several years.

Brandon was moved to Brentwood Manor, a private nursing home in Convoy, Co Donegal in May 2016 and died there last year.

The abuse came to light in 2016 when a whistleblower approached local independent TD, Thomas Pringle. He reported it to HSE management in the county and the then minister for disabilities, Finian McGrath. A look-back review, completed in 2018, led to the HSE commissioning the NIRP review.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times