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Cork TD calls on Taoiseach to “come clean” on “cruel and deceitful” nursing home fees scandal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and other cabinet ministers, have been accused of “allegedly conniving in a disgusting legal strategy to reduce refunds of illegal nursing home charges” by Rural Independent TDs.

Cork South West TD, Michael Collins, said that an Taoiseach must be honest and reveal the facts publicly immediately on the scandal.

Deputy Collins, and Independent TD, today stated that an Taoiseach “has serious questions to answer about his personal involvement – while Health Minister – into the secret nursing home changing scandal, designed to subvert the natural justice rights of citizens.”

“The reported over 300,000 vulnerable elderly residents directly impacted, many of whom have since passed away, and their respective families, who suffered extreme financial hardship because of consecutive Health Ministers’ actions, must be told the truth,” he said.

“Yesterday and again today in the Dail, the Taoiseach failed to provide any clarity into his personal involvement with this deceptively cold and calculated deal. We need to know if the Taoiseach and other cabinet and former ministers were fully aware of the exact operational workings of this deceptive strategy, which was overly callous to the country’s most vulnerable elderly citizens,” he continued.

The Independent TD said that depriving those affected of their legal entitlement to full reimbursement was “heartless and cruel.”

“Failure to now come clean and deny those families the truth is abhorrent and sinister, especially as this heartless legal strategy needed the approval of the serving Health Minister at the time. We need to know if Leo Varadkar and other serving ministers in the current cabinet agreed to extending this deceitful practice. Clearly, the Taoiseach’s explanation of his involvement in this cruel scandal is not credible,” he said.

“Any attempt by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party to remove the ‘heat’ from this diabolical scandal, by kicking it onto the Attorney General, is completely unacceptable.”

“This disgusting issue has been swept under the carpet for far too long. The public must be provided with transparency, openness and accountability.  That is why the Rural Independent group is demanding an emergency Dail debate on this matter, so that the public and impacted families can be given the truth behind these astonishing revelations.”

“Equally, the Tánaiste Micheál Martin’s denial of possessing any knowledge of a strategy to deny refunds of illegally charged nursing home fees to patients by the State, when he was Health Minister between 2000 and 2004, lacks credibility.”

“The government cannot spin, duck or hide on this scandalous issue for the deliberate purpose of protecting current cabinet ministers. A deliberate strategy to deceive families who were overcharged for nursing home care from the 1970s until late 2000s is rotten. Those who approved such a deal must be held accountable.”

“It is no longer tenable for this government to continue ignoring scandal after scandal, or crisis after crisis, as if it is somehow normal or like another day in office,” concluded Deputy Collins.

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