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Government failing to protect those with intellectual disabilities in residential centres – Nolan

14 July, 2016


Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, Sinn Féin Deputy Carol Nolan lambasted the Government for its failure to protect those with intellectual disabilities in residential centres across the state. Her comments come in advance of the Health Amendment Bill 2016, which is due before the Dáil next week and proposes an additional two year extension for care centres to register with HIQA.

Teachta Nolan said:

“Over recent years, there have been a number of HIQA reports, which have reported ‘major non-compliance’ in residential centres for adults and children with intellectual disabilities.

 “Last April, HIQA’s Chief Executive Phelim Quinn told a conference by Inclusion Ireland that the standard of care in some residential centres was ‘disturbing and chilling’.

“Last summer, HIQA gave notice to 20 disability centres, that their registration would be refused or cancelled if they did not make necessary improvements within 28 days.

“In June last year, the HSE revealed that more than 20 staff were being investigated for abusing residents with severe intellectual disabilities in homes across this state.

“In 2011, the government made a commitment to move away from congregational living arrangements, which a HSE report found breached the state’s obligations under UN conventions.

“Almost six years later, there are 3000 citizens still living in these unacceptable conditions.

“The government’s target that the 1000 care centres across the state would be registered with HIQA by the end of October 2016 has not been met and 350 centres will not meet this target. A further two year extension has been proposed under the Health Amendment Bill 2016.

“The fact is this government, and the one before it, has failed to protect those with intellectual disabilities in care centres across this state.

“These citizens cannot wait another two years for this issue to be addressed and I am calling on the government to establish as a matter of urgency a fully independent, root and branch inquiry into all care facilities for citizens with intellectual disabilities in the state.” 

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