Press Release

Lynch expresses shock and distress of mistreatment of vulnerable residents in Áras Attracta

Minister for Primary and Social Care Kathleen Lynch responded today, Wednesday 10th December 2014, to the RTE Primetime programme on the unacceptable practices of some staff in Aras Attracta which aired last night.

“I am shocked and distressed by the revelations of extremely poor and unacceptable standards of care and mistreatment of vulnerable residents in Áras Attracta. Every person who uses disability services is entitled to expect and receive supports of the highest standard and to live in an atmosphere of safety and care. This is particularly important for vulnerable people in residential care whose families have entrusted them to the care of professional staff”, said the Minister.   “The allegations of mistreatment in the Prime Time programme are very disturbing and need to be fully investigated. In that regard, I welcome the immediate response of the HSE to alert the Gardaí and HIQA and for the protection of both residents and staff themselves, to put a number of staff ‘off-duty’ while the allegations are being investigated. I also welcome and support the HSE’s initiation of both an expert investigation into these serious allegations chaired by Mr Christy Lynch and an independently chaired review of the services provided at this facility, led by Dr Kevin McCoy.”

The Minister has been fully briefed by the HSE since they became aware of these allegations and she has asked that all appropriate resources should be put in place to ensure that the safety and care of residents at Áras Attracta is maintained at the highest possible standard.

“I have been assured that the HSE’s priority is to protect the very valuable services that people residing in Áras Attracta receive as a critical support to them and their families.  I am aware that the HSE has contacted families of residents in Áras Attracta offering to meet with them. I would encourage families and concerned members of the public to contact the HSE’s information line at 1850 241 850 from 8am and 8pm Monday to Saturday”, said the Minister.

The Minister will be fully briefed by the HSE on the outcome of these investigations as soon as possible.   Concluding Minister Lynch said “I welcome the HSE’s new National Policy on Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse which was launched on 5 December 2014 and is now operational. Under this policy all services must have a publicly declared ‘No Tolerance’ approach to any form of abuse and must promote a culture which supports this ethos.”