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Creevelea House Nursing Home in Co Meath Photo by: Irish Times:Ciara Wilkinson

Horrific scenes emerge from Ireland’s nursing home investigations

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Creevelea House Nursing Home in Co Meath Photo by: Irish Times:Ciara Wilkinson

Seven residents at a private nursing home in Co. Meath were at risk of hypothermia, and food in the facility was scarce, when it was inspected by the Health Information and Quality Authority(HIQA), a court has heard.

HIQA was at Drogheda District Court seeking an order to cancel the registration of Creevelea House Nursing Home in nearby Laytown, which would effectively shut it down.

It’s the fourth care home which the watchdog has closed or tried to close since it began inspecting all public and private nursing homes in mid-2009.

Earlier this month the authority obtained an order shutting down Rostrevor House Nursing Home in Rathgar, Dublin. The authority claimed management cover-ups and petrified nursing staff were to blame for a harrowing catalogue of physical abuse at Rostrevor.

In the latest case, a HIQA inspector told Drogheda District Court that Creevelea was not clean, there was no meat and the only fresh vegetables consisted of one bag of potatoes and a turnip when it was inspected last year.

The authority had concerns for a 93-year-old woman who might not have eaten for 24 hours. There was no nutritional plan for her and she had not been weighed.

The court was told that when inspectors arrived last year, after a report from a resident concerned about his care, they found “nobody running” the home and “nobody overseeing the management of residents.”

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In March of this year there was still a lack of clinical governance and a lack of adequate care and residents were at risk. The Health Service Executive was contacted and it carried out an assessment of the residents and since then it has had staff in the home.

The application to shut the home down is opposed by directors.

The hearing is to continue in two weeks when nursing home bosses will give evidence.

Meanwhile, in the case of the Rostrevor care home in Dublin shut last week, former owner Therese Lipsett has denied that the decades worth of complaints of elder abuse are true.

She blamed the attention being shown to her and her business on her socialite lifestyle and her three pretty daughters.

“Is it just because there are three pretty daughters in the family, who make for a good photograph? Is that why there is such interest in the nursing home?,” she said. “There is another nursing home were the patient was let out and walked to the top of Bray Head and perished in the cold. I mean, her daughters weren’t shown on television. What about the Kiltipper nursing home that let a woman choke? Where is that story? What’s the obsession with the Lipsetts?”

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