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Varadkar to seek guidance on publishing a redacted version of HSE's Brandon Report

The Attorney General warned it could not be published in full.

Image: RollingNews.ie

TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has said he will seek guidance over whether a redacted version of the Brandon Report can be published after the Attorney General advised the government it could not release the full report for legal reasons. 

The Brandon Report found that residents in the facility were subject to “sustained sexual abuse by another resident, Brandon, over a prolonged period of time” during his residency at the HSE-run disability centre. However, the entire report has yet to be published in full. 

The review found  108 occurrences of sexual sexually inappropriate behaviours by a resident towards 18 other residents of the facility between the years 2003 and 2011.

It is feared that publishing the report without redaction could result in prejudicing the outcome of any disciplinary actions being taken against people based at the complex.

The Attorney General also warned that publishing the report in full could run contrary to promises made to the family members of residents who took part in the review process. 

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Varadkar was asked what could be done about this by Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty. Varadkar said he will now seek advice on whether this report can be partially published. 

“Minister Rabbitte [junior minister with responsibility for disability services] was very keen to have this report published and published in full; she sought the advice of the Attorney General, who’s very strong legal advice was that it could not be published in full for reasons that have been explained.

“I think you’re asking me could it be published in some sort of redacted form? That I don’t know, perhaps it can be, but that’s something I will take up with the minister.”

 

Background to the report

In 2018 the HSE commissioned the NIRP to complete a review into serious incidents of concern which took place between 2003 and 2016 in Stillwater services, which are HSE residential and day care services for adults with intellectual disability.

Prior to this, a Look Back Review into these incidents had been conducted by an external expert in 2018.

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This review identified 108 occurrences of sexually inappropriate behaviours by one resident of Stillwater services, who was given the pseudonym ‘Brandon’.

Brandon passed away in the nursing home in April 2020.

He had a diagnosis of mild – moderate intellectual disability and Bipolar Affective Disorder as well as a diagnosis of Frontal Lobe Syndrome to which a senior forensic clinical psychologist directly attributed his sexually inappropriate behaviour.

Brandon was first admitted to services in 1991, with the first recorded incident of sexual assault by him noted in 1997.

The review was focused on incidents occurring from 2003 onwards.

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