Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle again presses Government for publication of Brandon Report

Pringle again presses Government for publication of Brandon Report

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has again asked the Government when the Brandon report into sexual abuse at Ard Gréine Court in Ballybofey will be published.

Deputy Pringle addressed the Dáil on Thursday during Statements on the Substantive Interim Reports of the Farrelly Commission of Investigation. The Farrelly Commission, established in March 2017, has been investigating the abuse of “Grace”, a young woman with intellectual disabilities in a foster home for 20 years.

The deputy said: “It is shocking that concerns were raised in 1992 and 1995, and it seems we still have not found out why nothing happened at that time”, calling the case, “a shocking and horrific case of the treatment of a severely disabled citizen who we as a State were responsible for”.

He said: “It seems that the two whistleblowers in the Grace case went to the Department of Health and the HSE in 2009 to highlight the abuse of Grace out of concern for her safety. And it seems that nothing was done in relation to them.”

Deputy Pringle said: “The similarities between the Brandon case and the Grace case are astounding. And I think that’s why the two have to be mentioned together. They are years apart, different ends of the country, but the same things are going on.

“And we still don’t know whether there are other cases within the HSE that have been investigated and reported on – we don’t know. And that’s the problem,” he said.

Addressing Minister Anne Rabbitte, Deputy Pringle said: “You have said yourself that we need to know what exactly happened and who was responsible for any failures that may be uncovered by the commission in the Grace case.

“But you have also rightly said that it is imperative that lessons are learned in relation to the Brandon Report. And I would like to ask, in relation to the Brandon Report, when will the report be published?”

Deputy Pringle had also pressed the Government for the report’s publication during Leaders’ Questions earlier this month, when it emerged that gardaí were delaying publication of the report, saying it did not reflect their actions.

Deputy Pringle said: “When will the gardaí be made accountable, accountable by the publishing of the report, and let everyone see whether they have questions to answer or not in relation to it?”

 “I feel that these questions need to be answered because they are relevant to how this State, on our behalf, has behaved. They are also important to show that the State is responding and changing how it has behaved in our name in the past,” he said.

Deputy Pringle said: “It is only by exposing and accepting the wrongs of the past that we can ensure that it will not happen again. And at this time, I wouldn’t be overly confident that it won’t happen again.”

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