Press Release

Minister Moloney announces the publication of the Hynes Report.

John Moloney TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Disability & Mental Health, today (9 April 2009) announced the publication of the ‘Review of the circumstances surrounding the elapse of time in bringing to completion the Western Health Board Inquiry into Allegations of Abuse in the Brothers of Charity Services, Galway.’

A Western Health Board Inquiry into allegations of abuse in the Brothers of Charity Services, Galway commenced in April 1999 and was not completed until December 2007. Mr Hynes was commissioned to review the circumstances surrounding the elapse of time in bringing it to completion.

Minister Moloney said ‘I very much welcome the publication of this Review and note Mr Hynes’ finding that the Western Health Board Inquiry took an inordinate and unreasonable length of time to complete.

‘It is important that the general lessons learned from this Report are included in the practices of Departments and Organisations, charged with holding future inquiries or commissions of investigation, to minimise the scope for time and cost overruns. The safety and protection of citizens who are receiving services by or on behalf of the State is of paramount importance.

‘The report recognises that, following the establishment of the HSE, steps were taken in August 2005 to bring the investigation to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion. The HSE has informed me that it has reviewed its current arrangements for holding and managing Inquiries to ensure that all future Inquiries are conducted efficiently and effectively and without undue delay. I am encouraged that a Serious Incident Management Team has been set up within HSE for the purpose of developing and implementing policies and procedures to facilitate appropriate and proportionate responses to all serious incidents.’

The Review was undertaken by John Hynes, former Secretary General of the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

Mr. Hynes did not find that anybody involved in the project was other than fully committed to bringing it to conclusion in the shortest possible time.

In his view the delay in bringing the report to completion was not due to a single factor but to a number of contributory factors including:

  • a lack of understanding of the complexities and scale of what was involved
  • unrealistic expectations throughout in relation to the time needed to complete the work and the resources and supports required
  • difficulties in relation to the provision of resources and supports
  • a lack of adequate arrangements both within the Inquiry Team and within the Western Health Board for the management of the Inquiry process

Read the Report