TWO nursing homes being prosecuted for alleged breaches of care regulations are owned by a company headed by leading property developer Terry Devey, it was confirmed yesterday.
His company, Devey Healthcare, also owns St Doolagh's nursing home in Balbriggan in Dublin, which has been told not to admit any more residents.
Generous tax incentives to build nursing homes have led to a growing number of property developers becoming involved in the business in recent years.
The company, part of the Devey Group, has already availed of tax incentives to build various properties in Smithfield in inner city Dublin, including Chief O' Neill's hotel, which was sold earlier this year for ?20m.
A case taken by the Health Service Executive in the north east against Delvin Lodge in Gormanston, Co Meath, was adjourned for a second time in Drogheda district court yesterday.
It is alleged it failed to prevent toxic conditions and infestations at the facility; that it had no warm bedding for elderly patients; that it failed to keep records of patients' medical history at the time of admission and that it did not have enough staff.
However Devey Healthcare Limited did plead guilty to seven other offences.
Judge Flann Brennan did not hear any evidence and adjourned all matters relating to both nursing homes to a date to be finalised next month. A case against Castle Lodge - a second home owned by Devey Healthcare - is due to be heard next month.
It is alleged that the home failed to give appropriate equipment for the administration of a "peg" feeder, which is a device used to feed infirm patients through a tube directly to the stomach.
A spokesman for the company said yesterday once alleged problems in the home in Co Meath were highlighted last year, a nursing home consultant was brought in.
He added Devey Healthcare is professionally run and there is no reason why investment from construction for nursing homes would not be as good as that from government or other sources.
Tax relief is allowed at a rate of 15pc per annum for six years and at 10pc in year seven in respect of the construction or refurbishment of the nursing home.