Updated: 08/03/17 : 06:33:59
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Vote on terms of reference for 'Grace' inquiry deferred

A final vote on the terms of reference for the 'Grace' inquiry has been deferred until later today.

TDs are being given more time to consider the plans, but the inquiry could be set up before the end of the week.

However several TDs have hit out at the fact that other residents in the same abusive foster same will have to wait for their own inquiry.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin says the Government is ignoring the calls from the man hired by the HSE to review the case.

Mr Howlin said: "Outside of the Grace case, the only capacity that we are giving this inquiry is to scope out a potential further inquiry - and that is it.

"It can carry out the scoping exercise, and that is it - it can do no more.

"And that is hugely different from what Conor Dignam wanted", he added.

Senior counsel Marjorie Farrelly, a barrister based in Cork, will be given 12 months to investigate the circumstances of Grace's care.

The Dáil has heard claims that the foster family at the centre of the Grace case still had children in its care until 2015.

That is six years after Grace was withdrawn from the home over fears of alleged sexual abuse at the home in the south-east.

The claims were made in the Dáil last night by Independents4Change TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly.

Deputy Wallace said that the HSE washed its hands of the problem, because the final girl in the family's care was put there privately.

"For the HSE to actually say 'Oh, we didn't put anyone… there's no-one in that home now…' - there was a girl there in 2015! They wouldn't tell the family … 'Oh, we wouldn't recommend you put her there'," he said.

"They didn't tell her why. Because they didn't want to lift the lid!"