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Tuesday 19 November 2019

HSE staff member in fraud probe attacked gardai

Georgina O'Halloran

A HSE employee who was arrested by gardai investigating major fraud was previously at the centre of an incident where he attacked gardai and injured himself.

Gardai are investigating fraud believed to involve hundreds of thousands of euro at St Mary's Hospital in Cork.

The man was taken to Gurranabraher garda station on Cork's northside for questioning under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and was released yesterday afternoon without charge.

A file will be prepared for the DPP.

Gardai have previously raided the hospital and searched offices there.

During the raid in July the same man who was arrested yesterday, became agitated and attacked gardai and injured himself. He is understood to have cut his wrists.

The regional response unit responded to the incident and the man was subdued with pepper spray.

He was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for treatment.

During the raid detectives seized a large quantity of files and computers as part of their investigation.

Senior officials at the Health Services Executive reported allegations of fraud to the gardai after irregularities came to light when records were inspected at the hospital. The sum of money involved is believed to be more than €100,000.

The HSE has confirmed that a garda investigation into allegations of fraud by a member of staff in the HSE South is under way.

"The HSE is co-operating fully with An Garda Siochana and cannot comment further on any details in relation to this investigation," the spokeswoman said.

St Mary's Hospital was an orthopedic hospital but last December all orthopedic patients were moved from the hospital to the Victoria/South Infirmary hospital in the city centre. An urgent care centre was opened at the St Mary's Campus in place of the orthopedic hospital last March.

Irish Independent

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