Charges may follow Áras Attracta investigation

Garda inquiry team reviewed 190 hours of film recorded for Prime Time programme

Áras Attracta in Co Mayo

Áras Attracta in Co Mayo

 

Charges may soon be initiated following a Garda investigation into the alleged abuse of intellectually disabled people at the HSE run Áras Attracta centre in Swinford, Co Mayo.

Footage secretly recorded for an RTÉ Prime Time TV programme last year contained a number of scenes allegedly showing Áras residents allegedly being mistreated.

At different times, the footage appeared to show kicking, hitting, pinching, prodding, dragging and pushing of these patients by a very small minority of staff.

Following the screening of the Prime Time programme, gardaí in Claremorris, Co Mayo began an investigation.

An investigation team, headed by Supt Joe Doherty viewed some 190 hours of film recorded for the TV programme and also took detailed statements from Áras staff.

Gardaí spent more than three weeks examining the TV footage alone.

A file was then forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

After the Prime Time programme was screened in December, The Carers Association was flooded with calls from family carers across the country upset by the scenes depicted.

Association spokesperson Catherine Cox described the footage as “terrifying” and said a constant worry for family carers was the care provision for their loved ones when they (carers) are no longer around”.

Ms Cox added: “The fear countrywide among our members is that Arás Attracta is not an isolated case”.