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Staff taken off duty at abuse claims home

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CRITICAL: Enda Kenny

CRITICAL: Enda Kenny

CRITICAL: Enda Kenny

NINE members of staff at a home for people with intellectual disabilities have been taken "off duty" following allegations of force feeding, slapping, kicking, physical and psychological abuse of residents.

The claims of alleged abuse made against the Aras Attracta home in Swinford, Co Mayo, come after an undercover probe by the RTE investigations Unit.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night described the allegations as "intolerable".

The staff have been taken off duty by the Health Service Executive (HSE) as a "protective measure" after receiving a letter detailing the allegations from RTE.

The letter detailed how footage was shot in the home by an undercover reporter over a number of weeks and named a number of staff allegedly caught on camera.

One alleged incident involved a blanket being placed over the head of a resident at the home, which provides respite services for around 100 people with intellectual disabilities.

The allegations are now the subject of inquiries by the HSE and gardai, while HIQA said it was also monitoring the situation.

The suspended staff were taken off duty last week even though HSE officials have yet to see the footage.

The HSE said this was done "without prejudice" to the staff involved, but they will remain off duty until the results of an independently-led investigation are known.

seriously

Yesterday staff at the centre referred all queries to the Health Service Executive.

The HSE said it was treating the allegations extremely seriously. Local managers are understood to be working with families and residents to provide information and assurance.

hnews@herald.ie


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