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Who will be accountable for awful treatment of the Devereuxs – McDonald

27 June, 2017 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that somebody must be held accountable for the awful treatment of Kathleen and Michael Devereux.

At Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, Deputy McDonald raised the case of the elderly Wexford couple who have been forced apart for the first time in sixty-three years of marriage following the HSE’s decision to accept Michael’s application for nursing home care under  the Fair Deal scheme while turning-down Kathleen’s application.

Speaking following the exchange with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Teachta McDonald said:

“Somebody must be held accountable for the awful way that the Devereuxs have been treated.

“Let’s be clear. An initial decision was made to deny nursing home care to Mrs Devereux. That decision was then endorsed following an appeal from the family. So, the decision was made twice. It was not a mishap.

“Whoever in the HSE decided that Kathleen Devereux was not entitled to nursing home care, knowing the trauma it was causing to an elderly couple, should not, in my view, be working in the area of healthcare.

“The decision-making demonstrates a shocking lack of compassion and humanity.

“That person or persons involved must answer for it.

“The Taoiseach said that he was distressed by the case. I do not doubt that.

“Expressions of distress are not good enough when you are the Taoiseach. Citizens expect more. They expect Mr Varadkar to take responsibility.

“The reality is the Devereux would still be in that terrible situation had they not gone to the media. That is a damning indictment of the HSE and the Government.

“The Taoiseach also accepted that there are other similar cases? We need to know how many cases and we need to know what the government is doing to resolve them.” 

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