Four more workers at a controversial care home for people with disabilities are being investigated over alleged abuse, health chiefs have revealed.
The latest development brings to 18 the number of staff connected to the Aras Attracta centre who have been linked to the claims.
The home for the intellectually disabled in Swinford, Co Mayo, was the subject of secret filming by RTÉ, which revealed graphic episodes of people being allegedly manhandled and shouted at.
The revelations led to 14 staff being suspended on full pay as the Health Service Executive (HSE), which runs the facility, launched an inquiry.
The HSE has confirmed an additional four staff are now under investigation.
“As part of the ongoing Trust in Care investigation into Áras Attracta and following viewing of the (RTÉ) Prime Time Investigates footage by the investigation team, a number of additional staff will now form part of the Trust in Care investigation,” a HSE spokeswoman said.
“Due process is under way at this stage.
“The HSE wishes to reassure families and residents that plans are in place to ensure that there is no disruption in service to residents.”
Six workers have been charged with assault in connection with the alleged incidents.
Earlier this year, the care home was criticised by a State health watchdog over the use of sleeping pills to control residents at night and unexplained bruising.
The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) found evidence that drugs classed as “chemical restraints” or “hypnotics” were used in the home to manage residents’ behaviour.