October 1, 2020
Réada Cronin TD applauds Clem Ryan and KFM

Sinn Féin TD for Kildare South, Réada Cronin, has commended Kildare FM for its unprecedented public statement regarding its news coverage of the negative HIQA report into Mill Lane Manor Nursing Home. 

Teachta Cronin said:

 “I regret that my office was also contacted by someone claiming to be a representative of Mill Lane Manor looking to speak to me in advance of my interview on the HIQA report with Clem Ryan. 

“I refused to speak to them. HIQA is a public body publishing a public report. It is my job as a public representative to comment without fear or favour on a public matter. My constituents expect me to do so.  

“As it happens, the publication of the damning HIQA report on Mill Lane Manor owned by Brindley Healthcare, co-incided with a news report in the Sunday Independent where the French Healthcare giant Orpea revealed they have an option to acquire all remaining shares in the Brindley Group. 

“Orpea already has a 50% share in Brindley.  According to the newspaper, Orpea Groupe had half-year revenue to the end of June of over €1.9bn, up from €1.8bn in the same period last year. Its pre-tax profit was €98.8m for the period, down from €153.2m over the first half of 2019.”

“We are talking eye-watering sums of money involved in private nursing-home ownership, yet we have bad HIQA reports like this, our elderly surrendering their homes in Fair Deal, their adult children denied the chance of a deposit for a house in their small inheritance? ”

“We need a radical change of model of care of the elderly and fragile. Every day, I am appealing for home-help hours for constituents to keep people they love at home. We’re talking pennies in the scale of things and it’s heart-scalding for these families. 

“But the system is configured to push the people we love into expensive institutional care run for profit.  This is all wrong and must be changed. 

“The HSE own only 20% of nursing homes, the rest are private.  Many imagine these private nursing homes are owned by that lovely couple down the road with the cranky Jack Russell but often they are not. Time and again they are owned by huge corporations and as we see with the news about Brindley and Orpea, involve vast sums of money.

“I applaud Clem Ryan for the stance he took today. It was gobsmacking to listen to what he had to say on any radio station, not least on our local one in Kildare. Now more than ever we need an independent, impartial media. ”

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