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Minister tells Grace case inquiry it is 'imperative' it completes report within 12 months

Minister tells Commission it is ‘fair and reasonable’ that work can be completed within the timeframe.

CHILDREN’S MINISTER RODERIC O’Gorman has told the Commission of Investigation into the Grace case that it is “imperative” it completes its work by March next year. 

Cabinet recently granted yet another 12-month extension to the Commission of Inquiry into the Grace case, meaning the inquiry will now take five times longer than originally intended. 

In 2019, Health Minister Simon Harris advised the Commission that he considered the extension given in that year to be final one.

He stated at the time that he expected the Farrelly Commission to provide its final phase 1 report by 15 May 2020. 

In the official notification to the Commission’s sole member, Marjorie Farrelly SC, The Journal understands that O’Gorman stated that it is imperative the Commission completes its work in the additional time granted.

He added that “there is a fair and reasonable expectation that Phase 1 be concluded in the shortest possible time frame”.

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.

The final report has now been pushed out by 12 months up to March 2024, nearly five years beyond its original deadline.

The decision to extend the timeframe follows an application made by Farrelly for an extension of time to allow the Commission to complete its Phase 1 investigations and submit its final report on this work.

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