Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

17th February 2017

– RTE Investigates programme highlighted a myriad of serious problems –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has raised the matter of the myriad of problems with the services at St. John of God facility at Drumcar with the Minister for Health, which were highlighted in Thursday evening’s RTE Investigates programme.

“These problems have been in the public arena for quite some time.  Being put together and presented in one programme, really highlights the severity of the situation of those with severe intellectual inabilities.  It is extremely sad and disturbing and this cannot be allowed to continue.”

“The concept of the evolving move from institutionalised accommodation to community settings has to be lauded and in my experience shows that the staff, in the main, deliver a great service in both settings to clients and their families”.

“The St. John of God services at Drumcar have provided down the years exceptional care in what now are clearly archaic and outdated buildings and facilities.”

“I wish to commend the staff who do a tremendous job in both settings of care and to say that the issues highlighted by HIQA are mainly resource issues and delivery of these resources must be vigorously pursued”.

“It must also be remembered that some clients are institutionalised and can be extremely difficult and challenging, but that should not impact negatively on other service users, as has been the case at Drumcar.”

“I condemn the charging of patients for additional services or medical devices, and indeed any breach of the Government cap on salary.  HIQA have to ensure the highest standards of care and I will be calling on the Minister in the Dáil for support to ensure that the facilities at Drumcar be improved to meet modern delivery of care for the many who still need institutionalised care at the facility.”

“In support of HIQA, the families and staff affected I will be pursuing the Minister to deliver the resources to meet the many regrettable inadequacies highlighted.”


Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2

(T) 01 6183549 (Email)