A report has found that at least 18 intellectually disabled residents of Ard Greine Court and the Sean O’Hare Unit in Stranorlar were subjected “to sustained sexual abuse” during a period of about 13 years with the full knowledge of staff and management.
A copy of the unpublished report has been obtained by the Irish Times.
The report, from the HSE’s National Independent Review Panel, finds the Ard Gréine Court complex and Sean O’Hare Unit in St Joseph’s hospital in Stranorlar had been run with a “disregard for residents’ rights”, allowing sexual abuse to continue “unabated”.
It says it believes the impact of the abuse on the victims has still “not been fully understood” by HSE management.
The report finds that over 108 incidents of “devastating” abuse were perpetrated on mainly non-verbal adults by another resident, who is given the pseudonym “Brandon” in the report.The Irish Times reports that Brandon has since died.
The report finds management at both service and regional level “had neither the management skills nor competence to deal with the serious problems Brandon’s behaviour presented”, and the “common strategy” to manage him was to move him from ward to ward.
In 2016, Deputy Thomas Pringle was approached by a whistleblower, and he passed on details to the HSE and the then Minister Finian McGrath. In July of this year, he raised the issue in the Dail, saying he did so reluctantly, but believed he had no choice.
You can listen to those exchanges HERE