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Foul smell and mould found at Kilcummin home for those with intellectual disability


The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) carried out the inspection.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) carried out the inspection.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) carried out the inspection.


An unannounced HIQA inspection at Kilcummin Residential Services last October found mould present in many rooms, and an odour in a hallway was so strong that the inspector could not stay in the room “for any period of time”.

These included the residents’ bedrooms, staff office, and main bathroom.

This was the most striking finding cited in the report, which found the centre ‘not compliant’ with nine of the 15 regulations examined on the day. The centre was ‘substantially compliant’ with five regulations and ‘compliant’ with one regulation.

Kilcummin Residential Services, provided by Kerry Parents and Friends Association (KPFA), offers full-time residential care to adults with a primary diagnosis of intellectual disability. Seven people were resident on the inspection date across the centre’s two houses: the larger house accommodates male residents; and the female residents live in a second house nearby.

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“When completing a walk around of the centre a foul smell was present in the hallway,” the inspector noted of the second house. “From discussion with staff it became evident that this was coming from the medication room. The smell was extremely pungent and the inspector could not remain in this room for any period of time.”

Mould was found in many rooms, including residents’ bedrooms and a press storing residents’ bedlinen, and water marks were visible in a vacant bedroom.

The report noted that staff first raised the issue in May 2022 and again in August 2022, but the inspector received no evidence of actions taken to address the problem.

“Immediately upon entering the room the resident pointed out the mould on the ceiling to the inspector and told them it was dirty and they didn’t like it,” the inspector noted after asking one of the residents to show them their bedroom.

A utility and storage room adjacent to the main house was described as “unkempt and unclean”, and there were dead flies on the windowsill.

The report noted that mouldicide spray has since been applied to affected walls, and internal insulation board has been applied where necessary. A vent was fitted in the medicine room. KPFA will monitor the building’s mould until remedial works are carried out. The laundry/utility area has been cleaned.

The centre’s best result was under the ‘protection’ regulation, which returned a full-compliance finding. Wherever a safeguarding concern arose, effective measures were put in place, the inspector found.

The centre was ‘substantially compliant’ with five regulations: persons in charge; general welfare and development; risk-management procedures; fire precautions; and medicines and pharmaceutical services.