‘I’m Not Sure What Happened After That’

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Finance Minister Michael Noonan at Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan launch in Dublin this morning

On Tuesday, in the Dáil, United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly raised the case of ‘Grace’ and the foster care home in Waterford in which she suffered extreme physical and sexual abuse for many years.

She remained in the home for 13 years after other children had been removed because of concerns raised.

Ms Daly told the Dáil:

“In 1996 a decision was made by the social workers on the ground to remove that young woman. That is a fact which is backed up. We know that subsequently the foster father contacted the then Minister for Health, Deputy Noonan, and petitioned to have what he called his “beloved daughter” kept with the family… A documented case conference decision to remove that young woman from the foster home before August was subsequently reversed in October 1996 and the young woman, Grace, remained there up until 2009. People need to know who made that decision and who will pay the price for it.”

Ms Daly added:

One of the whistleblowers at the centre of this case has made the point that, sadly, it is not the only such case. In his opinion, it represents dozens of others in the same region over a 20 to 30-year time span. It is fair to say there is a systemic problem in the HSE. It is very much the old attitude that when the church or State is threatened, the response is to say nothing, admit nothing, call in the lawyers and see what happens.”

Further to this, Finance Minister Michael Noonan spoke to Richard Crowley on RTÉ’s News At One and Mr Crowley raised the matter of the letter…

Richard Crowley: “As you know, Clare Daly raised an issue in the Dáil this week. This was in relation to the abuse allegations in the South East area and she mentioned that a letter had been written by the foster father in the controversy, directly to you as Minister for Health, this was in 1996, by the foster father. Can you, I know it’s 20 years ago and you received lots of letters, thousands of letters at that time no doubt, have you had a chance to check you files or do you have any recollection of that case? At that particular time? Or at any time you while you were minister for health?”

Michael Noonan: “No, I’ve no clear memory of it but I did check the position of Department of Health and seemingly two letters arrived, one to me, and one to the junior minister for health, Austin Currie. And the letter, to me, I contacted, I got my officials to contact the South Eastern Health Board and my understanding of it was the person would be removed from foster care. But subsequently, information came through that there was some kind of appeal and that that didn’t happen and then, after that, because it was a question of the possible abuse of a child, the data was given to the minister of state who had responsibility for children. And I’m not sure what happened after that.”

Crowley: “So you had no further contact with the issue or the people involved?”

Noonan: “I’d no further contact after that and I didn’t have the power to direct and I didn’t direct. But the initial information I got was that yes, there was an issue and the child was removed. And, subsequently then, I forget the exact details but it was some kind of  appeal process and the decision of whoever took it down in the South East wasn’t implemented at that point and then it went on to Minister Austin Currie.”

Crowley: “Minister Noonan, thank you very much for coming in…”

Listen back in full here

Clare Daly claims foster father lobbied Michael Noonan (Irish Times)

Previously: Still In The System

Clare Daly transcript via Kildarestreet.com

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

29 thoughts on “‘I’m Not Sure What Happened After That’

  1. Rowsdower

    Noonan. Under his watch contaminated blood infected many people with hep c. When the people wondered what happened to them, he threatened to bring them to the supreme court.

    For this awfulness, Fine Gael punished him by making him leader of the party.

    One wonders what terrible punishment they have in mind for him for this.

  2. Starina

    “i forget the exact details” – this kind of statement clearly implies a level of contempt for even having to speak of such a matter. if he had any f00ks left he would have at least done a quick memorisation of the facts for this interview.

  3. Anne

    He’s not sure what happened after that, coz he couldn’t give a tuppenny fupp.

    Like Kenny on Mary Boyle – “I’ve had some contact about this, quite a number of years ago, which I brought to the attention of the gardaí and I can’t say whether they, the allegation was followed up or not but I brought it to the attention of the gardaí. ”

    Like, would you not say to yourself, jeez I wonder what’s happening in that case? No?

    1. realPolithicks

      “Like, would you not say to yourself, jeez I wonder what’s happening in that case? No?”

      You would if you were a human being.

      1. rotide

        “But the initial information I got was that yes, there was an issue and the child was removed”

        What was there to check up on at that point?

        1. Anne

          Eh continue reading Rotsey..

          “But subsequently, information came through that there was some kind of appeal and that that didn’t happen and then, after that, because it was a question of the possible abuse of a child, the data was given to the minister of state who had responsibility for children. And I’m not sure what happened after that.”

          He passed it on.. didn’t bother his hoop following up, or says he didn’t. He’s admitting he was made aware that the child was left there.. but he didn’t follow up.

          ” some kind of appeal and that that didn’t happen” – Appeal that the child be left with the abuser.
          “That that didn’t happen” – that she was not removed.

          It’s not good enough.

          1. rotide

            I did read it. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that as horrible as it is, this was not the only child that was being abused at the time. How many ongoing investigations is there?

            As the minister for health, is he supposed to check up on all of these, whilst checking that everyone that goes to A&E gets seen to, and every in patient gets a bed and whilst personally testing every drug that gets approved and approving every HSE approved diet by doing it for a year?

            If he ignored the letter, then fine hang him. If the case didn’t get passed onto justice, hang him. You could make a good case for him Pilate’ing his way out of it, but at least his own bases were covered.

            Jesus actually, I don’t know why I’m even bother defending this guy, I really dont like him

          2. Anne

            ” I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that as horrible as it is, this was not the only child that was being abused at the time”

            I believe there were numerous other children removed from that foster home, but for whatever reason this child was left there for a further 13 years.
            It’s just not good enough that this child was left there. Baldy was made aware of what was going on, but he passed it on and turned his back on it.

            What your saying is equivalent to defending Kenny in the Mary Boyle case, where he passed the information onto the Guards and said he wasn’t sure what happened after that.. it’s the equivalent of saying, shur there must be loads of murdered 6 year olds buried all over the place, he’s a busy man.
            Get the fupping boat Rotsey..

          3. rotide

            I think the only way forward here is to elect Batman.

            He will not sleep until every crime in gotham goes punished.

  4. rotide

    I really don’t like Noonan but in fairness he recieved a letter and acted upon it. After that it moved to another department. What’s the issue?

    The machine failed in this instance, not one person.

    1. realPolithicks

      What a load of bollocks, that attitude encapsulates everything that is wrong with Ireland. There is no accountability, no one ever accepts responsibility for anything. Systems failure, its pathetic!

      1. rotide

        I don’t know enough about the case to say much else, but I’d be willing to bet any money you like that the accountability for it doesn’t rest with the ministers for health in the various governments while this happened. I’m guessing it was incompetence/beaurocracy/slow civil service gears further down the chain.

        1. ollie

          “I’d be willing to bet any money you like that the accountability for it doesn’t rest with the ministers for health in the various governments ”
          In that case rotide, where does accountability lie? You are obviously a supported of our beloved facist party because they don’t take responsibility for anything, except repaying the bondholder club, of which Mr Noonan is a member.

    2. Tish Mahorey

      Jesus you really will defend Fine Gael not matter won’t you. Blind allegiance to an ideology.

      If this was a Sinn Feiner you’d be all over it.

      1. rotide

        I’m not really a FG guy, but whatev’s

        Your FF guys were in power during this as well you know.

    3. 15 cents

      rotide .. you must have a similar temperature blood to Noonan. The issue is this … he got a letter saying a child was being abused. so he knew .. a child.. remember! was being abused. he passed it off somewhere else and never thought about it again. the issue, is someone would a regular sized heart and conscience, would be thinking “i wonder if that child isnt being abused anymore.” and have checked up on the case, kept an eye on it so as to stop the abuse. instead he didnt think of that at all, because he didnt care. so it boils down to, he didnt care about an abused child and her health. thats the issue. and its clear for all to see.

  5. Frilly Keane

    Why the úpp is he running anyway?

    Is there no one back in Limerick that’ll hang out wi’im

    Is that it?

    Christ you’d think with his six figure pension he could buy a bitta company

  6. nellyb

    “I didn’t have the power” – what powers do ministers actually have? apart from collecting large wages…

  7. Pip

    Whatever about power corrupting, lack of accountability is hideously corrosive.
    No wonder there’s so little squirming going on.

Comments are closed.