Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Investigation into Leas Cross Nursing Home scandal welcomed

26 April, 2007


Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into the Leas Cross Nursing Home scandal. Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Caoláin said he has no doubt that "inadequate staffing, inadequate care and, most seriously, inadequate vigilance on behalf of State authorities led to the deaths of patients in Leas Cross and in other nursing homes."

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The O'Neill Report on the Leas Cross Nursing Home served as an indictment of successive governments and Health Board/Health Service Executive bureaucracies who presided over a system which allowed the old and the vulnerable to be disgracefully neglected in nursing homes. I have little doubt that inadequate staffing, inadequate care and, most seriously, inadequate vigilance on behalf of State authorities led to the deaths of patients in Leas Cross and in other nursing homes.

"The terms of reference given to Professor Des O'Neill were flawed as they provided for only a documentary inquiry. The relatives of the deceased were not given the opportunity to participate even though they have valuable evidence to give about the treatment of their loved ones. For that reason the establishment of this Commission of Investigation into the Leas Cross Nursing Home scandal is very welcome. I hope that the relatives of the deceased are given full access and they are allowed to tell their story to the investigation.

"Some further points need to be made in the context of establishing this investigation. The Government needs to implement the recommendations of the National Economic and Social Forum report on the Care of Older People. It needs a clear strategy to end the over-reliance on private nursing homes for the care of older people and to ensure that all those who wish to be cared for in their own homes can be facilitated with the full support of all relevant State services." ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin