Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that the heinous allegations of sexual and physical abuse by foster parents in the South East behoves the Government to immediately put the National Safeguarding Policy for Vulnerable Adults on a statutory basis.

The allegations unearthed by the Conan Devine and Resilience Ireland reports must ensure that this type of long term abuse never takes place again.

“What we have learned from the two reports and indeed from the disclosures from the whistleblower has shaken everyone to the core.

“The abuses perpetuated on Grace by her foster carers were heinous acts of betrayal.

“What needs to be remembered here is that they weren’t committed in some isolated situation; they took place in a supposedly State-supervised setting.

“We welcome the commitment to the establishment of the Commission of Investigation but we are urging the Government to move quickly to enable it begin its work as quickly as possible.

“While the reports have shed some light on the abuse itself, no one has taken responsibility for the unforgivable failings in the provision of State care to vulnerable children.

“It’s clear that how vulnerable children are cared for by the State needs to be reviewed. We must be 100% confident that no child being cared for by the State, or agencies on behalf of the State, are safe, and not at risk of abuse.

“The National Safeguarding Policy for Vulnerable Adult also needs to be placed on a statutory basis to ensure the highest possible safety requirements are enshrined in Irish law.

“My party spokesperson on Children, Anne Rabbitte, and I, will be seeking to meet with Tusla, the HSE, and the relevant Ministers to seek assurances on efforts being made to ensure the safety of all children, especially those with disabilities.

“This cannot be allowed to happen, and we now need to see concerted action by the Government to address the fundamental flaws in the system that allowed over 30 years of systematic abuse go unreported,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.