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Primetime revelations into treatment of those with disabilities ‘deeply disturbing’ – Ó Caoláin

14 July, 2016 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Responding to tonight’s damning RTÉ Prime Time programme where it was revealed that the HSE has failed to properly protect hundreds of adults with intellectual disabilities, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Sinn Féin Disability Rights spokesperson, described as ‘deeply disturbing’ the findings of the programme’s investigation and the systematic failure to protect these vulnerable adults.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said;

“The revelations in tonight’s RTÉ Prime Time programme made for grim watching. The sheer volume of dreadful stories regarding inadequate care and non-compliances over many years is utterly scandalous.

“Failures uncovered in tonight’s programme included the incredible situation where no case files were on record for over 200 adults with intellectual disabilities and case files that had not been updated in over 25 years. This is literally beyond belief. Such ineptness and mal-practice led to one particular woman being returned to her family home while a member or members of that household were being investigated for the alleged abuse of the woman. Equally distressing is the fact that one man with Down Syndrome, who spent his whole life in residential care, hadn’t been visited by any officials in 16 years.

“The State has utterly failed these people who deserve and require the highest standard of care. To hear of such non-compliances is deeply disturbing and requires immediate action by the relevant Ministers. I have tonight written to the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability Issues asking him to immediately address this situation and to ensure that those with intellectual disabilities are properly protected. Resources must be made available to ensure the highest standards of care and oversight and those who have presided over the worst practices and failures should be replaced forthwith.” 

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