Investigation into 'Grace' case granted 12 month extension

The Cabinet was informed a large amount of documents still need to be trawled through

The government has approved a 12 month extension to the Commission of Investigation examining the Grace case.

The Cabinet was informed a large amount of documents still need to be trawled through.

Marjorie Farrelly, the Senior Counsel heading up the investigation applied for the extension based on the “enormous volume of documentation disclosed to it from a wide range of public bodies, organisations and individuals.”

She also reported issues identifying potential witnesses and establishing their current health.

Grace was a woman with intellectual disabilities who was placed in a foster home in the south-east, and left there for 20 years despite allegations of sexual abuse.

The Farrelly Commission, aiming to find out how this happened, began its work in May 2017 and its investigations are ongoing.

Announcing the extension, the Minister of State for Disabilities, Finian McGrath said: “I wish to acknowledge the work to date undertaken by the Commission and to thank the Sole Member and her team for their dedication to the Commission.

“It is regrettable that the Commission will not be in a position to submit its Phase One final report by today, as specified in the Terms of Reference.

“However, I recognise that this has not been possible due to the issues identified by the Commission.”

The Commission has submitted a second interim report updating the Government on its investigation.