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€6.3 million settlement approved for woman at centre of Grace case

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness said that the settlement was appropriate, but questioned whether anything had changed at the HSE and Tusla.

Image: Shutterstock/Alex_Alekseev

A SETTLEMENT BETWEEN the HSE and a woman who was left in foster care despite years of abuse has been approved by the High Court this afternoon.

According to RTÉ News, the settlement was €6.3 million and that the HSE again apologised in court ‘for the failings in her care’.

The HSE said that they do not comment on court cases.

A woman known as ‘Grace’ was left in an abusive foster home in the southeast of the country for 20 years, despite several reports to authorities of her abuse.

An inquiry into the Grace case and a further 46 other children who passed through the home in question is currently being set up.

Reaction

Whether it’s enough, I don’t know. What kind of money could you give someone to make up for the torture that that young woman went through?

Reacting to the news of the settlement, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, who highlighted the Grace case at the Dáil’s public accounts committee said that although the news was welcome, there was still work to do.

“Grace has been through the most awful treatment of her life while in the care of the state,” he told TheJournal.ie.

People may think it’s a huge amount of money, but measure it in the fact that her life was robbed, and her life today is one of continuous suffering.

He said that although the money won’t redeem anything, the settlement is recognition that the state “did not meet standards in her care”.

I’d like to see what will happen to the other 46 children who have had their lives ruined. Will the state undertake care for them?

McGuinness said that he’s “proactively working” with the families concerned and that today’s result have them some level of satisfaction, but it’s still ‘the least the state could do’.

“In some cases they have been treated very badly.

It’s of huge importance because of the wrongdoing and because they tried to cover it up, when really they should be reaching out to the families affected to make sure they’re ok.

McGuinness said that there’s a “possibility” that other court cases similar to this one will emerge, but stressed that there’d be no need to bring it to the courts if the HSE acknowledged the wrongdoing and met the families involved to find a solution.

He expressed concern that although the HSE has apologised, that little has changed in the system in response to how complaints are dealt with and how vulnerable people are cared for by the State.

Read: The Government has re-written the terms for the Grace inquiry after criticism

Read: Foster care case: ‘These are allegations of rape using implements and horrific sexual abuse’

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