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29 Jun 2022

Report claims there were more than 10 sexual abusers at Stranorlar facility

Deputy calls for independent inquiry to ascertain what happened in centres for disabled people in Donegal

Report claims there were more than 10 sexual abusers at Stranorlar facility

FILE PHOTO

At least 40 intellectually disabled residents of a Health Service Executive-run centre in County Donegal were subjected to on-going sexual assaults by more than 10 perpetrators over an 11-year period, according to a report in the Irish Times, by journalist Kitty Holland, this morning. 

"The assaults, dating back to 1991, occurred in the same centre where a separate review completed last year by the National Independent Review Panel (NIRP) found upwards of 18 intellectually disabled residents had been subjected to at least 108 incidents of "sustained" abuse by a resident, given the pseudonym Brandon, between 2003 and 2016," the report states. 

The latest review, the Irish Times states, was conducted by the HSE and referred to as a "Validation Report" examines the period from when Brandon entered the now closed Sean O'Hare unit in St Joseph's Hospital, Stranorlar in 1991, to 2002. The NIRP report, known as the Brandon Report covers from 2003-2016 when Brandon was moved to a private nursing home. He died there in 2020. 

A senior source told the Irish Times that more than 40 victims had suffered serious sexual assaults "which should have been reported to gardaí."

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said that he feels the HSE are incapable of investigating the issue and called for an independent public inquiry.

Deputy Pringle said: "We now need an independent public inquiry to find out what happened in centres for disabled people throughout Donegal."

Deputy Pringle first raised the issue of the Brandon report in the Dáil last July, after working with a whistleblower who had come to him in 2016. Deputy Pringle said he raised the issue in the Dáil due to the lack of an adequate response during those years.

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