HSE investigates alleged assault on resident with disability

Staff member at Co Cork centre has been removed from duty without prejudice

The HSE has begun an investigation into an alleged assault on a resident with an intellectual disability by a staff member at one of its centres.

According to the HSE, it was notified of the incident at St Raphael's Centre in Youghal, Co Cork on February 23rd. It has informed both the Garda and HIQA of the alleged assault.

The incident is understood to have involved an alleged assault by a female member of staff on a male resident in his 50s at St Raphael’s on February 20th.

In a statement, the HSE said “one staff member has been removed from duty without prejudice pending the outcome of the preliminary inquiry”.


According to a Garda source, the alleged assault was captured on CCTV footage which is being examined by gardaí.

The HSE said that it had informed the resident’s family of the alleged incident in line with its Open Disclosure Policy and a key contact has been appointed to liaise with the man ’s family.

“The HSE treats every complaint or incident concerning the welfare and safety of clients with the utmost seriousness,” the HSE said. “Staff at St Raphael’s have made contact with families of residents to assure them that this incident involves a single resident.”

According to the HSE, protective measures were put in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all residents, service users and staff at the facility in line with national policy.

These measures were implemented in line with the HSE’s ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse Policy’ designed to protect older people and people with disability.

Originally a Victorian psychiatric hospital, St Raphael’s has operated as a centre for people with intellectual difficulties in the East Cork area since the 1990s.

Under the HSE, it currently provides residential and community services and caters for 120 users - some 76 men and 44 women - who live wards and houses on the campus.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times