care of the state

Grace case whistleblower says she's 'disappointed' with HSE's response

The whistleblower, who remains anonymous, told RTÉ’s This Week that she wants to appear before committee to set the record straight.

A WHISTLEBLOWER INVOLVED in the Grace case has said that she’s disappointed with the HSE’s responses to serious questioning and has requested to appear before committee to give greater insight into the core issues.

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 that she was being abused.

RTÉ’s This Week spoke to the whistleblower who first made a protected disclosure to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in February 2015 about reports of Grace’s abuse.

The whistleblower, who remains anonymous in order to protect Grace’s identity, said that she would like to appear before the PAC to set the record straight.

“It’s been two years since I first made the protected disclosure to the public accounts committee and still some questions remain unanswered or certainly unclear.”

RTÉ reports that the committee chair Seán Fleming ”confirmed that he would view the request favourably when the committee reconvenes”.

The woman said that her appearance before the committee could make any subsequent questioning of the HSE “more productive”.

She said that the HSE needs to correct the record in some cases and was “disappointed” with their responses to questions being put to them.

But she believed that it was too late for the HSE to issue her an apology, which she requested in 2016: “That ship has sailed at this stage, there is no meaningful apology that can be offered.”

Last week the High Court approved a settlement of €6.3 million in compensation to the woman known as Grace, with the presiding judge calling her case a scandal and mentioning that there were still unanswered questions.

In March HSE boss Tony O’Brien apologised to TDs for telling them that no health worker involved in the Grace case was still in public service, in what he called “a monumental cock-up”.

A worker who sat on the panel that decided to leave Grace in the foster home retired in 2012, but is in receipt of full HSE pension and still carries out some specialist clinical services for Tusla on a part-time basis.

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

Read: ‘A monumental cock-up’: HSE boss admits Grace case worker still in public service and on a full pension

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