Health Minister Robin Swann, in his usual forthright manner, summed up the alleged abuse of patients by staff at Muckamore Abbey Hospital. Launching a public inquiry into the allegation he described the situation as a sad chapter in the history of the health and social care services in Northern Ireland.
Others may take an even more trenchant view. The allegations of physical and mental abuse at the facility which treats patients with severe learning disabilities and mental health needs first emerged in 2017 and concerned parents and relatives were stymied at every turn when they demanded explanations.
A long running police investigation at the hospital involving trawling through hours of CCTV footage has not resulted in any charges although eight arrests have been made.
The public inquiry is needed to ensure that there is no hiding place for those who had a duty of care to the patients and obviously failed to meet that. Perhaps the full facts will emerge although the inquiry is bound to be a drawn out affair.