Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams today
raised with Taoiseach Enda Kenny disturbing reports he has received regarding
the treatment of people with Intellectual Disabilities at a care facility in
Stamullen, Co. Meath.
Mr Adams said HIQA indicated a denial of the civil, legal and human rights
of citizens at Redwood and that residents at
Redwood have been subject to deprivation
of liberty and freedom of
movement including a ‘locked-door policy’.
Gerry Adams said:
“I have received representation
from families of clients of Redwood Care facility in County Meath. One of these, Eamonn Kennedy, was admitted to
Redwood in January 2010. Following several falls he was hospitalised with a
head injury and lacerations.
“He was hospitalised a second time
with further lacerations. Doctors also noted bruising to his upper body, arms,
abdomen and legs. Eamonn spent five months in hospital. He was placed in a
wheelchair for nearly a year.
“When first admitted to hospital,
Eamonn’s sister took photographs of his injuries. I sent these photographs to
the former Minister for Health James Reilly. A Garda investigation resulted in
“In 2012 a Consultant in Emergency
Medicine employed by the family noted that Eamonn’s frequent falls may have
resulted from a combination of drugs which lead to an increased risk of falls.
also noted that: ‘There are certain aspects of bruising which are suspicious of
non-accidental injury.’ And that: ‘There appears to be no medical explanation
for this bruising....’.
“Another citizen was living
independently, with HSE support, prior to moving to Redwood in 2013. Within two
days he was given anti-psychotic medication and taken off a gluten and dairy
free diet despite family objections.
“He reacted badly and, due to
suffering nine convulsions, was admitted to hospital a few days later. He
subsequently returned to Redwood and remained there for 3 months on
anti-psychotic medication. He is no longer living at Redwood.
“HIQA has said that there
has been “a significant denial of the civil, legal and human rights of
citizens” at Redwood and that ‘residents at
Redwood have also been subject to a severe
deprivation of liberty and freedom of movement’ including
a ‘locked-door policy’.”
Gerry Adams said the disturbing reports and
others which have come to light in other care centres, showed that the State is
failing in its responsibilities towards citizens with Intellectual Disabilities
who are clients of such facilities.
He said there is growing
concern about the consequences of outsourcing care for citizens with
disabilities to the private sector:
“Care of our most vulnerable citizens is not
compatible with the profit motive. Redwood is part of the privately owned
Talbot Group which contracts the HSE to provide services.
“Last July I raised concerns with former Minister for Health, James Reilly
about the safety of clients at Redwood.
“In December, a HIQA report into
this facility found:
· Recurrent and lengthy durations of physical intervention
· An incident in which a patient struggled to breath and
turned blue during physical restraint
· Medication administered by injection during episodes of
“HIQA recommended no new admissions
until these issues were addressed. It is now clear that serious issue regarding
the care of citizens with intellectual disabilities is not confined to one care
facility. What is required now is a fully Independent, root-and-branch inquiry
into all care facilities for citizens with intellectual disabilities in the