Committee hears foster family may have sexually abused over 40 intellectually disabled people

It is reported a clerical error left one person in care until 2009

Committee hears foster family may have sexually abused over 40 intellectually disabled people

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A Dáil committee has heard claims that a foster care family in the south-east may have sexually abused over 40 young people with intellectual disabilities.

The claims were raised at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this morning, and will be sent to the Department of the Taoiseach and the gardaí.

It is reported that the former South-Eastern Health Board became aware of the concerns in 1992, and all children were removed from their care in 1995.

However due to a clerical mistake, one person was left in their care until 2009.

A 200-page report was commissioned by the Health Service Executive (HSE) into the incident, but it was not more widely known until the PAC received an excerpt of the report from a health service whistleblower.

The PAC chairman is John McGuinness.

"We agreed this morning to forward all of the paperwork relevant to this case to the Taoiseach's office, because it goes to the heart of government in terms of reform that's necessary in the HSE, and indeed the change of culture that's needed in the context of how the State treats it's citizens", he told Newstalk Lunchtime.

"In this particular case it has treated vulnerable, mentally-challenged individuals in the most appalling way", he added.