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Gardai given 700 new nursing home complaints by TD


Fergus O'Dowd

Fergus O'Dowd

Fergus O'Dowd

A file of 700 separate complaints about nursing and care homes has been passed by a Government TD to the Garda Commissioner, it has emerged.

The revelation comes in the wake of the Aras Attracta care home scandal last week.

Speaking to the Herald, Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd has said the separate complaints about nursing and care homes that he received through a Freedom of Information request were passed on to Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan.

Mr O'Dowd said the complaints centred around the failure to provide proper care in homes around the country and were included in documents he received from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

He confirmed that the files are also being forwarded to the Medical Council and the Nursing Board for their consideration.

"Some of the complaints deal with shocking cases and such is the seriousness of what was included I felt the need to refer the matter to the Garda Commissioner," he said.

Mr O'Dowd got an initial file of 300-odd complaints dating from 2013 a couple of weeks ago and has since received a further file of about 400 complaints lodged throughout 2014.

Mr O'Dowd said he obtained a redacted file which omitted the names of the nursing and care homes involved, but said he expected the gardai to get the un-redacted file.


The former junior minister has also called for greater powers for HIQA to investigate complaints concerning the treatment of patients.

Meanwhile, HSE Director General Tony O'Brien is to be questioned by the Oireachtas Health Committee this week about the Aras Attracta scandal.

Mr O'Brien will appear before the Joint Committee on Health and Children tomorrow evening to address the controversy.

Confirmation of his appearance comes as families of those who suffered abuse at the care home said they have been "betrayed" by what was allowed to happen.

Committee Chair Jerry Buttimer TD said: "As a Committee, we were shocked at appalling evidence of alleged abuse of residents at Aras Attracta uncovered by RTE.

"This Tuesday, we have asked senior HSE officials to discuss how they propose to respond to the serious issues highlighted."