Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Government 'buried medic sex abuse'

Dignity 4 Patients spokeswoman Bernadette Sullivan after meeting with Health Minister Mary Harney

The Government has been accused of burying a report into allegations of sexual abuse against struck-off medic Michael Shine.

Support group Dignity 4 Patients said the decision not to publish the Drogheda Review had caused patients further distress.

The group, which met Health Minister Mary Harney to demand that the findings are made public, said more than 200 people now allege abuse against Shine, who worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, for 30 years up to 1994.

Bernadette Sullivan, a former nurse who founded the group, said she believed the Government did not want to deal with suspected sexual abuse in the health system.

She said she had grave reservations about the review process.

"One can only draw the conclusion that they are burying this case," Ms Sullivan said.

"That they are completely not wanting to look at it."

It is understood up to 120 cases of alleged abuse are being investigated by the Garda.

Former High Court Judge TC Smyth was appointed by Ms Harney to hear complaints made against Shine to decide if a full inquiry would benefit patient safety.

But during a meeting with the minister, the group was told Mr Justice Smyth stated that the report should not be made public due to possible criminal prosecutions.

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