Press Release

Report of the Inquiry into Allegations of Abuse at the Brothers of Charity Services, Galway between 1965 and 1998.

Dr. Jimmy Devins TD, Minister of State for Disability and Mental Health, noted the publication today (11 December 2007) by the HSE of the Report of the Inquiry into Allegations of Abuse at the Brothers of Charity Services, Galway between 1965 and 1998.

The report, commissioned by the HSE, deals with allegations of serious abuse at the Holy Family School, Renmore, Galway City and the Brothers of Charity Residential Services, Clarinbridge, Co Galway.

The Minister said:

On behalf of the Government, I wish to reiterate the Taoiseach’s formal apology to all those affected by abuse in institutions operated or funded by the State, including the Brothers of Charity Services, Galway.

The Report is a further example of how some of the most vulnerable people in society were badly let down in the past.

The Minister welcomed the actions taken by the HSE to support those affected by the abuse, and to ensure that all service users today can be assured of a quality service.

The Minister said that the Report, prepared by Dr. Kevin McCoy, contains important lessons for the future, from which we must all learn. In particular, he emphasised the need for the protection of vulnerable service users and the promotion of a quality environment in which they live:

I am committed to ensuring that all residential facilities for people with a disability are independently monitored and inspected by the Health Information and Quality Authority. As HIQA prepares for this role, I have asked the HSE to take all possible action to ensure the quality and safety of these services.

The HSE has published Guidance for the Provision of Residential Services for Young People with Disabilities. The HSE will roll out a Service Review System immediately to support service providers in implementing the quality criteria contained in the Guidance document. In addition, the HSE is arranging for changes to the Service Level Agreements that it has with its disability service providers to enable it to review the quality and safety of the services which it funds.

The Minster thanked Dr. McCoy for his work on the report.