Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has reiterated the party’s call for a full independent inquiry following revelations of abuse at Áras Attracta in Swinford, Co Mayo and separate allegations this weekend of abuse complaints being made going unaddressed.

Deputy Kelleher said: “These issues are extremely serious and require a full independent inquiry. The Government cannot wait any longer. The inquiry needs to be separate to the HIQA and HSE investigations ongoing at the moment. Further allegations of abuse and malpractice in care settings this weekend are very worrying.

“I believe an inquiry should look at the role of HIQA and whether it has all of the relevant powers and resources it should have to deal with complaints and follow through on inspections. There are also serious concerns about the procedures that are in place governing the recruitment of care staff and whether those procedures and standards are robust enough.

“I am genuinely appalled by the revelations of the past week in relation to Áras Attracta and further allegations in relation to malpractice in other care settings coming to light this weekend are shocking. The need for a fully independent inquiry is clear and I am urging the Government to move quickly on this. It is astonishing that 10 years on from the Leas Cross scandal we have these issues taking place in care settings that are supposed to be safe, dignified places for our most vulnerable citizens.”