Inclusion Ireland Call For Independent Àras Attracta Inquiry


Chairperson of Inclusion Ireland Tom Healy is calling for an independent inquiry into the Áras Attracta care home in Swinford, Co Mayo to restore confidence in disability services following the RTÉ Investigations Unit programme last night (Tuesday, 9th December).

The disturbing, distressing and shocking programme shone a depressing light on the standards of residential care for persons with intellectual disabilities in this HSE-run facility.

Mr Healy, who is also a parent of a daughter with an intellectual disability, also believes that the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar should establish an independent inquiry into Áras Attracta that reports back directly to the Minister.

“Inclusion Ireland is calling on the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and the HSE to face up to the huge problems that this investigation into Áras Attracta has revealed,” he said.

“An independent inquiry needs to be set up and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission should investigate the human rights and equality abuses in this care home.

“The investigation revealed shocking levels of abuse and dehumanisation of people with intellectual disabilities by those who are given the highest levels of trust by their families.

“The problems that we witnessed in Áras Attracta go beyond simple remedial solutions and it is incumbent on the HSE to fully engage in a transformative reform that will prevent us from having to witness such horrific scenes again.

“The events in Áras Attracta highlight a failure on the part of individuals, management and the HSE as a healthcare system.

“These failures are systemic and in failing to recognise the scale of the problem, HSE management are effectively ignoring the drastic steps that are required to reform the entire system in providing a consistent, safe and dignified level of care for individuals who are most vulnerable in our society.

“Over the years, families feel that there is a real danger of sanction against their family member if they decide to make a complaint.

“If anyone has knowledge of institutional abuse in such care centres, they should report it immediately to the Health and Information Quality Authority (HIQA) or Inclusion Ireland.”

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