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five year delay

Government grants yet another extension to Grace case inquiry

The Grace case concerns a young woman with intellectual disabilities who suffered years of abuse.

THE COMMISSION OF Inquiry into the Grace case has been given yet another extension by the government. 

Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman, in consultation with Minister of State Anne Rabbitte, received government approval to grant the Farrelly Commission an extension of another six months. 

Last year, O’Gorman told the Commission of Investigation that it was “imperative” it completes its work by March 2024.

However, with today’s extension granted, the final report has now been pushed out to 12 September 2024, over five years beyond its original deadline.

The final report was due to be completed in May 2019.

The Grace case concerns a young woman with intellectual disabilities who was in care.

Allegations arose that she had suffered years of abuse, but despite the claims she remained at the foster home for 20 years.

Details of the case emerged after whistleblowers who are employed by the service provider which now cares for Grace made protected disclosures about her previous care.

In April 2017, a €6.3 million settlement for Grace was approved by the High Court.

A Commission of Investigation into the case was later established by the government into the Grace case and a further 46 other children who passed through the home.

In a statement today, the government said this extension “will allow the Commission the additional time necessary to bring its work to completion”.

Speaking in the Dáil in 2021, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness said those who knew what was happening to ‘Grace’ should be “chased down” and held accountable. 

At the time he said there were reports within the HSE that clearly outline what happened to Grace.

“I read the reports from the whistleblowers. I discussed it with them, and I couldn’t believe that this type of abuse could happen in our state. Abuse where a young woman was put into a home and was sexually abused.

“That sexual abuse was reported by a HSE worker because he was concerned that she had objects put into her that would cause her a bowel problem for her future and it did.

“It was reported to the gardai and nothing happens. (The HSE) called to the house and inspected it and found that she lived there with three male residents.

“There was people found under the stairs locked in. There was children out in outhouses,” he said.

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can reach out for support through the following helplines. These organisations also put people in touch with long-term supports:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email
  • Text About It – text HELLO to 50808 (mental health issues)
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444 – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)