Belfast Telegraph

Woman stabbed to death in psychiatric hospital in Waterford

By Emma Jane Hade, Ralph Riegel and Conor Kane

A patient was arrested after a woman was stabbed to death at a psychiatric hospital.

The woman was also a patient in St Otteran's Hospital in Waterford, the largest psychiatric facility in the south-east.

Another patient was seriously injured and a worker who tried to help her received stab and slash injuries.

It is understood the incident began inside the building at around 7pm and continued outdoors.

The woman who died was in her 50s and from the area.

It is understood that the weapon was a knife.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and remained there last night, pending a preliminary examination by the State pathologist.

A male patient was arrested shortly afterwards and taken to Waterford garda station but his questioning by may be subject to a medical examination.

The other patient’s injuries were last night described as serious, while the staff member suffered a slash wound to the face.

The worker was taken to Waterford Regional Hospital, but was expected to be discharged.

It’s understood that the incident started inside in the hospital, but ended in the grounds.

The scene was preserved overnight, pending a full technical examination.

Gardai were last night interviewing patients and staff at St Otteran’s Hospital as they tried to piece together the exact chain of events.

The section of St Otteran’s where the incident began is part of the community care programme, where patients effectively reside at the complex but can come and go.

A HSE spokesperson last night confirmed an incident had occurred at the facility.

“There is one fatality, with injuries to another resident and staff,” the HSE stated.

“The HSE wishes to offer its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased. We are offering support services to residents, their family members and staff of the unit.”

Health service bosses said they intended to undertake their own review.

Fianna Fail Councillor Adam Gary Wyse said: “It is a really sad time for the person and their family.

“St Otteran’s has such a good record helping people and obviously more information will come out, but you have to wonder how this can happen.”

St Otteran’s Hospital is a 40-bed approved centre with a rehabilitation ward and an old-age psychiatric ward.

An inspector visiting the centre in 2013 found that the centre’s physical restraint policy should be updated.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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