HSE apology to ‘Grace’reminds me of Lady MacBeth…but without the sincerity!


You’d imagine with a landmark settlement worth a cool €6.3 million the young lady we all know simply as ‘Grace,’ would have it made. It’s the type of money one can only dream of having languishing in the bank. However, for a gentle, highly vulnerable soul, born with overwhelming difficulties to a mother who could clearly provide love, but who obviously felt, through no fault of her own, that she couldn’t provide the adequate care and supports her beloved little girl so desperately needed and deserved, it’s an award that’s essentially come too late.

  Grace’s mother’s inability to cope, (we would imagine), was why the life-altering and ultimately disastrous decision was taken to hand her over to so-called professionals whose remit it was to source and provide her child with specialist care, but who we now know failed spectacularly, both in their moral and in their legal obligations to her.

  It’s highly likely that, but for the intervention of two social workers, one of which was reportedly described by Mr. Justice Peter Kelly as displaying ‘particular advocacy and dedication,’ we would never have known about the horrors that befell this young lady in our country, and in our name. I say ‘our name,’ because the foster home in which Grace was placed, nay discarded like a contaminated, worthless piece of trash, was State-funded. Yep, you and me paid for Grace’s care; we contributed the finances that went to the scheming, evil, devious people who harmed her. We will also foot the bill for her rehabilitation.

  Now I don’t know about you readers, but this case leaves me with such a repulsive taste in my mouth, I’m worried it’ll produce enough acid to burn a hole in a ship’s hull! In fact, as a mother, I’m angry and baying for blood because a vulnerable fellow human being was forced to endure such abhorrent torture for over 20 years and yet nobody appears to be culpable; nobody is being punished and nobody is shouldering the blame…but we, the taxpayers, are bearing the financial brunt – and this is wrong.

  So, if we’re contributing to the settlement, we need to know why those lazy, useless, empty HSE husks entrusted with Grace’s care didn’t do their jobs. We need to know why their vetting and monitoring networks were so undeniably flawed, and why their so-called ‘system’ appeared to have shamefully abdicated all responsibility of her to a family whose idea of nurturing was to leave her with what has been described as a psychosis.

  While there are decent people working within the HSE – and we must acknowledge this fact – it’s clear, in Grace’s case, that there was the minimum amount of communication and interaction between those tasked with her placement; otherwise someone, anyone, (unless they had the IQ of the faceless cockroaches who abused her), would have picked up signs that Grace’s days were spent being physically, emotionally and possibly sexually exploited and defiled and that her only source of solace and comfort came from a little toy, which, according to reports, she still clings to today for dear life.

  In its apology, the HSE, whom, I have to admit, now puts me in mind of Lady Macbeth, but without the sincerity, said the care Grace was meted out “fell short of the compassionate, caring and personalised support that she was entitled to.” No s**t Sherlock! And the tragedy is, Grace’s unbearable abuse led to her childhood and her innocence being stolen. 

  And, while some may feel her settlement was large, believe me when I tell you that no amount of money will ever compensate this young woman for the life she has lost, and, despite it coming from the taxpayers’ purse, she deserves every euro of it.

  I wish Grace an abundance of happiness and healing, but above all I wish her peace. As a mother, I extend my sincere empathy and compassion to Grace’s mammy who must be absolutely inconsolable but who needs to know that she too is a victim of a failed and toxic ‘system.’

Forget Coronation Street, we have Holles Street!

Wow folks, does anyone else think the whole National Maternity Hospital drama has reached a kind of soap opera status with a seedy tabloid appeal complete with a family feud starring the dashing Dr. Peter Boylan and his beautiful sister-in-law, Dr. Rhona Mahony, in the lead roles?

  Last week it was a case of me trying to contain my annoyance when news broke that the Sisters of (no) Charity were to be given sole ownership of the new NMH; but this week I’m struggling to contain my amusement given the petty text message exchanges generated by the board…or was that the bored?

  Now I could be devilishly subtle and simply accept I believe a strong woman like Dr. Mahony really feels “the text (from her bro-in-law) was quite intimidating and quite unacceptable” but here’s the thing – I need to be blunt, ‘cos otherwise how will Rhona et al, ever get my point – which is this…turning over the medical and emotional care of women to a religious order that presided over abuse is akin to throwing a bottle of JD into the middle of an AA meeting…it ain’t gonna end well!

  Look, this entire farce looks so bad for these intelligent people and I for one find it quite disturbing that, when they’re not squabbling, their day job is to deliver babies! For God’s sake, grow up the lot of ya!

Depression is NOT a sign of weakness

I find it very worrying that sadly, according to a survey carried out by See Change, approximately four in 10 people living in Ireland would hide the fact they had a mental health problem from others. How heartbreaking is that, readers?

  And so, this Saturday, 6th of May, Pieta House’s Darkness into Light Walk, which aims to remove the stigma of mental illness by providing what has become a vital lifesaving help and support service to those who need it, takes place across four continents around the globe.

  But here, in our own little corner of the world, County Roscommon has four meeting points…at Ballaghaderreen, Boyle, Castlerea and Roscommon Town, at 4.15 am, and I’d like to urge anyone who can support this initiative to please do so. 

  You see folks, depression is not unique, nor is it a sign of weakness; we all have our sad days, we all feel vulnerable, and we all struggle at some stage of our lives. However, some of us may have that internal message bearer telling us if we speak out and reveal our soul-crushing feelings, we’ll be ridiculed. We won’t.

  Remember, depression is not you, depression is an illness; an illness that isn’t visual; I mean you don’t wear a bandage for it, so if you look ‘normal’ then people assume you are feeling ‘normal,’ however if this is not the case, please tell someone. They don’t need to understand why you’re feeling this way…just that you are, and that you need their support, and above all, their love.

* Samaritans Helpline – call 116 123 – free, any time from any ‘phone.