Whistleblower appointment follows care centre allegations

Áras Attracta care centre Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Áras Attracta care centre in County Mayo was the subject of an RTE investigation.

The Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) has appointed an official to liaise with whistleblowers with concerns about HSE-funded services.

It follows a TV programme that alleged abuse of three elderly residents at an HSE-run home in Swinford, County Mayo.

Disability rights campaigner Leigh Gath is to take on the role of Confidential Recipient for whistleblowers.

A new audit office is to be established to oversee HSE residential services.

Ms Gath, who was born in Northern Ireland, helped lead a sleep-out at Government Buildings in Dublin to protest against proposed HSE cuts in September 2012. She is also a survivor of the drug thalidomide.

In the programme containing allegations of abuse, Irish state broadcaster RTÉ secretly recorded TV footage at the Áras Attracta care centre.

It showed residents with intellectual disabilities being slapped, kicked, force-fed and physically restrained at the home.

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