Financial irregularities at St. Mary’s Drumcar must be fully investigated – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has voiced concerns at today’s HIQA report regarding financial irregularities in the Greenmount property at the St. Mary’s Drumcar, St. John of God campus.

Gerry Adams said:

“HIQA has stated that an unannounced inspection was undertaken in July at this property following the receipt of information to the Authority detailing the inappropriate use of residents money for furniture, medical aids and medical appointments.

“Essentially a whistle blower has exposed shocking financial abuse of vulnerable people which occurred at this centre for at least four years from 2012-2016.

“This is another damning report for St. John of God Services, and the latest in a catalogue of distasteful practices which have been uncovered.  

“In 2016 St. John of God North East Services received HSE funding to the tune of almost €32 million.  

“Services for people with disabilities must be properly resourced and I am fully for that, however St. John of God North East Services, as a publicly funded entity, has a responsibility to its residents and their families and also to the wider public to ensure the highest financial standards are employed.  

“St. John of God has serious questions to answer regarding the decisions taken to charge residents for essential equipment. The fact that they cannot provide assurances that residents personal monies were not used inappropriately prior to 2012 is also major cause for concern.

“When HIQA received this information, the Authority initially requested that St. John of God conduct its own independent investigation. The decision by St. John of God to employ a retired staff member to undertake this work was totally inappropriate and HIQA has subsequently stated that they are not assured of the independence of the investigation.

“Furthermore, HIQA has outlined that although reimbursement is underway, it is not complete.  

“St John of God must immediately address this and pay the people in their care the money which was taken from them.”