Senator Joe O’ Reilly Cavan/Monaghan-10’000 people over 65 deemed to have suffered abuse

Sitting Time 11:20                                                            Sitting Date 10/11/2010

The national study of elder abuse published yesterday is disturbing. I ask that the Leader provide time for a full day debate on this issue. It is a matter of great concern that 10,000 people in this country over the age of 65 are deemed to have suffered abuse, much of it in their own homes. This is intolerable and unacceptable.

Despite our economic woes, the is a matter we can and should tackle. The contrast between these people and those young people who were abused down the years, which abuse was horrendous, is that the latter lived to tell the tale while much of this elder abuse and memory of it goes to the grave. This House should debate this issue.
The remarks of the Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, in this context are extraordinarily serious. That the Ombudsman was allegedly frustrated by the HSE and Department of Health and Children in the discharge of her work is a serious matter. It is also extraordinarily serious that the Department of Health and Children has stated the Ombudsman acted in bad faith. A statement on that matter is required in this House from the Minister for Health and Children. We must debate this matter as part of the debate on elder abuse.
It is not inappropriate that I, coming from a Border county, would join with those who say we should honour those who died in the First World War. History is written by the victors. The people who emerge as Government write history. These people were written out of history for years, which is wrong. I admire Senator Mooney’s contribution which called on us to acknowledge them now. We should go out of our way to rewrite this wrong on behalf of the families who have lived with the perception that their ancestors did wrong.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website