Friday 24 November 2017

Brendan Keenan: There will be no success unless we improve the way we do our business

Lack of explanations fuel our mistrust of officialdom

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

A woman of my acquaintance had a part as an extra in Neil Jordan's film, 'The Butcher Boy'. Some scenes were filmed in St Ita's mental hospital in Portrane. It took her months to get over the nightmarish conditions she found there.

That was 13 years ago. The woman in question is not my colleague Emer O'Kelly, who has campaigned about conditions in this dreadful place since she discovered the same nightmares 20 years ago. She wrote about it again last Sunday after the latest official report yet again described conditions as "appalling".

I mention my personal knowledge of it merely to make the point that this scandal is no secret, has received regular publicity, and even more regular promises from decades of health ministers that something will be done about it.

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