Previous allegations were made about the staff member who raped a resident in 2020, but they were not investigated at the time.
That's according to an unpublished report from the National Independent Review Panel investigating the sexual assault of a nursing home resident in December 2020.
The healthcare assistant, known as ‘Mr Z’ was jailed for 11 years for the rape of a resident, known only as ‘Emily’ in the facility.
The report found that other female residents made allegations against Mr Z in the past, but they were not believed, and the accusations were not investigated at the time.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said this report exposes “a hugely distressing and shocking affair”.
“[Nursing homes] are supposed to be safe places,” he said. “They almost always are safe places, but in this case, this was clearly not the case.”
“We can only at this unreservedly apologise, condemn what happened and do all we can to ensure that safeguarding of people in alternative care is at the highest level possible.”
The Government will appoint a safeguarding expert to help improve care standards at nursing homes.
“Both the CEO of the HSE and I are not satisfied that we fully understand all of the issues in this facility and indeed in the wider care context,” Mr Varadkar said.
“For today it is important as custodians of care services for our older people that we say unequivocally that we failed Emily, regardless of how much we were deceived by any one individual employee.
“We are also anxious to ensure that we respect the wishes of Emily’s family for privacy.”
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the NIRP made nine recommendations, including a staff awareness campaign to ensure victims of assault in the nursing home are believe and a working group to examine and reform how the facilities operate.