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State Claims Agency dealing with a further two claims of abuse of intellectually disabled women in care homes
Coleman Legal LLP
Jan 29, 2018

State Claims Agency dealing with a further two claims of abuse of intellectually disabled women in care homes

The State Claims Agency dealing with two ‘Grace-type’ cases – the abuse of an intellectually disabled woman in a foster home

The State Claims Agency on behalf of the HSE is now dealing with similar cases to that of ‘Grace’ (the intellectually disabled woman who was in foster care). These are ‘in the early stages of litigation.’

Documentation revealing these new cases also shows how the HSE sought to ‘sanitise’ draft versions of a Deloitte report into the funding provided to Grace’s caregiver.

Independent TD Catherine Murphy has expressed great concerns regarding the revelations disclosed in the recently uncovered documentation. She has led the examination into the handling of the ‘Grace’ case.

The HSE agreed a €6.3m settlement last year with ‘Grace’ over the failures in her care, and by way of compensation. However, regarding the two new cases, the HSE has said that any awards will be met on a ‘pay as you go’ basis.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have been seeking answers regarding Grace’s care from the HSE, even though it is already the subject of a Commission of Inquiry.

The HSE documents have revealed the following:

“The State Claims Agency has advised us that they are currently managing two similar cases to ‘Grace’ and both these two cases are at the early stages of litigation. In relation to provision for claims, awards paid to claimants under the terms of state indemnity are accounted for on a ‘pay as you go’ basis and the Accounting Policies of the HSE note this and full disclosure is made in the notes to the accounts of the estimated total provision at the year end date.”

It was reported before Christmas 2017 that the Commission set up to investigate the Grace case was at ‘an advanced state of readiness’ to look into the events of 1996.

Documents and information relating to the care of Grace have been requested of 51 public bodies and individuals by the commission into her sexual abuse in a foster home.

An interim report made by the Commission states:

The commission was of the view that it was important to meet Grace. In September 2017, arrangements were made to travel to the South East to meet with Grace at her residence,”

“The purpose of the visit was to meet the person behind the voluminous documentation and reports received by the commission pertaining to her care and protection over an extended period,”

“The meeting was successful and provided an opportunity to see Grace’s current residence and the care being provided to her.”

Grace, who is non-verbal, was left to languish in a foster home for 20 years until 2009 despite being the subject of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the foster family. Several opportunities to remove her from the home following concerns being raised were either overruled or not taken.

The Commission received approximately 270,000 pages of documentation between 13th June 2017 and 14th November 2017.


Keith Rolls Partner Coleman Legal LLP

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