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 Mary Garvan, a 65 year old resident of Aras Attracta residential care centre. Mary is distressed after a staff member placed a blanket over her head.

Mary Garvan, a 65 year old resident of Aras Attracta residential care centre. Mary is distressed after a staff member placed a blanket over her head.

Sheila Ryan, sister of Mary Garvan

Sheila Ryan, sister of Mary Garvan

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Mary Garvan, a 65 year old resident of Aras Attracta residential care centre. Mary is distressed after a staff member placed a blanket over her head.

THE FAMILY of one of the women who appeared to be subjected to abuse at Aras Attracta has called for due process to take its course and for the alleged abusers to put forward their side of the story.

A total of 11 people have been taken off duty following Tuesday's broadcast of an investigation into the facility, by RTE's Prime Time.

The report showed horrific scenes at the HSE-run dis ability centre in Swinford, Co Mayo.

One of the women who appeared in the programme was Mary Garvin (65), who moved there 20 years ago.

SHOUTING

In one incident, the programme showed a staff member shouting at Ms Garvin.

"What is your problem now, stop it. Now put that down if you want to put that down, just stop this tomfoolery, there's no need for it. Look at outside, it's p**sing rain.

"You should be damn glad you have a roof over your head," she is told.

The Garvin family has released a statement to say that they believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

They said that their "thoughts and prayers" were with the workers taken off duty.

"They have families and relatives too and we know they are all suffering," the statement said.

"We want them treated humanely and with respect and the Garvin family believe in forgiveness as a way forward," it added.

The statement was made in the names of Sheila Ryan, Kathleen Healy, John Paul and Patrick Garvin.

It was aired on RTE Radio One's Today with Sean O'Rourke yesterday.

"We want due process. We want the inquiries that have been instigated to proceed. This includes a garda investigation," the statement said.

"We want those suspended allowed due process and the opportunity to tell their side of the story and explain their actions.

"We want them to be given the time and space to do that," the family said.

The family also thanked the many carers and professionals who have been in the past working quietly and professionally at Aras Attracta.

"They deserve our support our encouragement our appreciation and our thanks.

"We want them to know that they are doing a good job in a difficult profession," the statement said.

The programme included footage of a staff member pinning down and force-feeding one resident, as well as instances of staff members slapping and kicking residents and pushing them into chairs.

hnews@herald.ie


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