Elderly treated without respect, accuses Kenny
TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern has defended himself against accusations that 80 patients in a hospital are being treated without "respect, dignity or integrity".
The patients are being accommodated in wards which are almost 100 years old in the Leopardstown Park Hospital in Dublin with less than "the width of an A4 page" between each bed.
During leaders' questions in the Dail, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said he had visited the hospital and witnessed the conditions at first hand.
"There are 10 to 15 commodes (mobile toilets) operating in each ward, where there is neither respect, dignity nor integrity. It has been stripped away by the physical limitations of the building," he said.
The hospital has been seeking to build new wards at a cost of €12m but so far it has not secured any funding commitment from the HSE.
Mr Ahern said he would obtain an update on the hospital's application for new facilities. "He (Mr Kenny) is acknowledging that the staffing and care is very adequate and that the infrastructure is the issue. I will get an update on that," he said.