On behalf of the Social Democrats, I extend our deepest sympathy to the family of the late former Deputy Peter Mathews. He was a popular and committed figure in the last Dáil. We all miss his presence in this Dáil and extend our heartfelt sympathy to his wife, Susan, and family on his tragic passing after a short illness.
We find ourselves yet again discussing in the Dáil another scandal. This time it involves the most horrific treatment of one vulnerable person but possibly more. It involves, at best, negligence and utter incompetence on the part of State agencies. It involves inexplicable actions and delays on the part of An Garda Síochána. It involves the shocking treatment of one whistleblower and a lack of attention shown to two others. Of most concern, however, is the official obfuscation and that there has been little evidence of political determination to get to the truth and bring those responsible to account. Once more the response from the Government is the establishment of a commission of inquiry when what we need are answers and accountability now. At the heart of the case are criminal matters which should have been, and need to be, dealt with by the criminal justice system.
I have questions for the Taoiseach. Why did the HSE not disclose to Tusla the names of the people involved in key decisions in Grace's case? Did the Minister for Health direct the HSE to hand over this information to Tusla? Is it not entirely possible that some of the people who were involved in decisions concerning the care of Grace are still involved in child protection services? Can the Taoiseach give a guarantee that none of them is involved in child protection services?
Will the Taoiseach clarify the role of the Garda? What criminal cases are under way involving sexual abuse? Will the Taoiseach also clarify if there is a current criminal investigation of reckless endangerment involving the people responsible for taking key decisions concerning the care of Grace? Have the two expert reports been made available to the Garda and, if so, when was that done?