A long awaited report into the notorious Roscommon incest and abuse case has been sent to the HSE, meaning it could be published within a matter of weeks, the Sunday Tribune has learned.

The final report is being examined by the HSE's legal team "with a view to publication as soon as possible", said a spokeswoman. It is unclear if the report will be published in its entirety or in redacted form with certain names "blacked out" for legal reasons.

The four-person independent inquiry team was set up in January 2009 to examine how a number of children were allowed remain in the care of their parents who abused and neglected them for years, despite concerns being drawn to the attention of the local health board. A key focus of the investigation is why social services did not seek a childcare order from the District Court in 2001, which could have allowed them to take the children into care.

The inquiry team, chaired by Barnardos' director of advo­cacy, Norah Gibbons, had hoped to complete their work within six months. The inquiry was established after a 40-year-old mother of six was sentenced to seven years in prison for incest, sexual assault and neglect of her children. Social services were in contact with the family over an eight-year period before the children were taken into care in 2004.