Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (567)

Catherine Connolly


567. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs when the final report of the national review panel on the abuse of children in the care of the health board-HSE (2003-2011), the summary report of which was published in May 2019, will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25037/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I am conscious that the abuse suffered by the young people at the centre of this very serious case disrupted and severely impacted their lives. The summary report from the National Review Panel on this case was published on 28 May 2019.

I referred to the publication of the main report in my replies in this House on 28 May last. There is strong advice that it would not be appropriate for the full report to be published, and I have been advised that, separately, the National Review Panel and Tusla obtained legal advice on this.

Where there is such clear legal advice, it is wise for it to be respected, in particular where a case involves the statutory protection afforded the victims of rape who have been witnesses in criminal prosecutions.

In my replies to the Deputy, I have given a clear indication that the summary report as published did not compromise this advice and that the findings were both clear and comprehensive.

The summary report has placed into the public domain both the facts and the serious findings about the management of this case, which took place when children's social services came under the remit of the HSE. It has done so while protecting the interests of the very vulnerable young people at the centre of the case, who, I understand, were consulted as part of the publication process.

I am committed to ensuring that the recommendations of the report are fully implemented, and there are improvements to minimise the chances of such mistakes ever happening again.