Inquiry into 'Grace' case to examine correspondence between foster father and Michael Noonan

Hearings are set to be held in the new year

Inquiry into 'Grace' case to examine correspondence between foster father and Michael Noonan

Michael Noonan is pictured at the official inauguration of the Central Bank of Ireland’s new Dockland campus | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A Government inquiry into the 'Grace' case is trying to find out why she was left in an abusive foster home for 20 years.

An interim report suggests she may have been kept there after her foster father wrote to former health ministers Michael Noonan and Austin Currie.

The Irish Examiner, which has seen the interim report, says the hearings will be held in the new year.

The paper says this correspondence is being examined by the commission to ascertain whether it had the effect of keeping Grace in the foster home.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has apologised to intellectually disabled woman known as 'Grace'.

She suffered years of sexual and physical abuse in a foster home she was placed in during the 1990s.

The interim report is expected to be discussed by the Cabinet next Tuesday.

A HSE-funded settlement package worth €6.3m was approved for the woman back in April.

She was left in the care of a foster family for 20 years in an allegedly abusive situation.

In March, the Dáil has heard claims that the foster family at the centre of the Grace case still had children in its care until 2015.

Grace was withdrawn from the home in 2009 over fears of alleged sexual abuse at the home in the south-east.

The claims were made in the Dáil by TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly, as they voted on the terms of reference for the Grace inquiry.