THE sister of a now deceased south Kerry woman who was a regular user of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) in Dublin says she and her family are horrified and disgusted to hear that the hospital board used charity donations to top up the salaries of its already high paid executives.
Ruth Goggin from Balinskelligs took to Facebook to express her disgust at last week's revelations about pay top ups, saying that when her sister Bethany Gail attended the CRC as a child, the hospital needed every penny for its daily operation.
Even after her sister's death in 1995 at the age of 16, Ruth and her family continued to support the hospital's Santa Bear Appeal, buying charity teddy bears every Christmas. They are now left questioning where all those donations actually went.
"I have given my two euro every year for their lovely white bears with Santa hats and now I don't know if it went to the clinic. I'm disgusted," she said.
Ruth's sister was wheelchair-bound with a condition called Microcephaly and needed to visit the CRC regularly to be fitted for a special chair. She said that while the staff were always very helpful and friendly, the services were basic and it was clear that money was needed for basic services
Ruth explained that as her sister continued to grow, she and her family would have to travel to the hospital regularly for a new wheelchair and the hospital became close to her heart because of the treatment her sister received
Last week's revelations, however, have left the family devastated.
"I was speaking to my mother and father (Wendy and Donal) and my sisters and we're just in shock," she said. "I can't say what the services are like now, but I'm sure they still need every penny they can get so this is so, so damaging."
She said that apart from feeling really hard done by after continuing to support the hospital, her main concern now is for the patients who currently use the service,
"My heart absolutely bleeds for them, because it is they who will suffer now because people will be very slow to donate. What happened was so wrong and we absolutely could not believe it."