I am deeply sorry that the young lives of the three women who were in the foster home in Galway were blighted by abuse. Their devastating experiences while in a foster home in the care of the State are heart breaking. The immense bravery and determination shown by the three young women in this harrowing case is truly incredible. I am sure their strength has been greatly tested in sharing their story and for this, like many others, I thank them. The Deputy has asked if the case warrants systemic change in child protection services. It may do.
The national review panel commenced a review in 2016. The trial has ended and sentencing has taken place; therefore, it is expected to complete its work before the end of the summer. However, this is dependent on the length of time due process takes, as those affected will see the relevant portion of the report before it is finalised. It will examine the facts of the professional decision-making in this specific case. It will focus on the children who remained in the foster home after 2007, when the first disclosures were made.
I believe we should allow the national review panel, chaired by Dr. Helen Buckley, a child protection specialist, to conclude its work. The other members of the panel are Dr. Imelda Ryan, a retired child psychiatrist and specialist in child sexual abuse, and Dr. Ann McWilliams, a retired lecturer in child protection and foster care in the Dublin Institute of Technology and a specialist in foster care. I hope and expect that the review will provide answers. We should wait until we receive it and then assess if a deeper, more forensic examination is needed. I commit to coming back to the House to engage with Deputies when the report is submitted.
Improvements in the oversight of child protection have taken place. The Government, this House and previous Governments have made inroads. This needs to continue. The full commencement of the Children First Act, including the introduction of mandatory reporting, is evidence of this, but we still have a lot of work to do.