Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle asks Tánaiste to call for Brandon Report to be published

Pringle asks Tánaiste to call for Brandon Report to be published

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has called on the Tánaiste to call for publication of the Brandon Report into sexual abuse at Ard Gréine Court in Ballybofey.

Deputy Pringle said: “This report highlights catastrophic failure around the most vulnerable of people by our health services.”

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, Deputy Pringle asked the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar: “Will you call today for the Brandon Report to be published and add the strength of the Dáil to calls for the full publication of the report?

“How can we be sure that there aren’t other Brandon-type reports gathering dust within the HSE headquarters that we don’t know about?”

Deputy Pringle first raised the Brandon Report in the Dáil in July, after working with a whistleblower who had come to him in 2016. Deputy Pringle said he raised the issue in the Dáil due to the lack of an adequate response during those years.

He said: “If I hadn’t raised this with the previous minister for disabilities at that time, this would have been buried already within the HSE.” He paid tribute to Minister Anne Rabbitte for her work in trying to get the report published.

Deputy Pringle said: “The HSE, gardaí and HIQA all have questions to answer in relation to how they didn’t respond to the needs of residents.” He said the HSE has constantly moved to delay publication of the report.

The deputy said: “First it was to preserve the identity of people, and then we were treated to news of a Garda investigation on the day that Minister Anne Rabbitte met with families in Donegal to explain to them what was happening.

“Now we hear that there are no charges in relation to the investigation, but apparently they are still delaying the report, now saying that it does not reflect what they did. If they want to put on record what they did why not publish their own report?” he said.

The deputy noted that in today’s Irish Times, HIQA admitted they were aware of the abuse but did not call it out in their reports in 2016, “even though they saw it on the files within the centre,” he said.

Deputy Pringle said: “I know the Taoiseach has said previously in the papers that he wants to see the Brandon Report published.

“The catastrophic failure by the HSE to deal with the issues, by HIQA in highlighting them and the gardaí in dealing with complaints have left families with half-truths and without the full story of what happened to their loved ones.

“It is time to respect the existence of those without a voice who this state was supposed to protect and defend,” he said.

The Tánaiste told Deputy Pringle that the Government will press the HSE and gardaí to have the report published and said Minister Rabbitte has also indicated that the focus must be on ensuring that the report’s findings and recommendations are appropriately dealt with.