The Head of the Irish Patients Association (IPA) is calling for an inquiry to be carried out into the admittance of a 15-year-old girl into an all-male ward at Cork University Hospital (CUH) where a sexual assault is alleged to have taken place.
Gardaí are investigating the incident, which is said to have taken place on the 15-year-old female at 5am on Monday morning in the CUH all-male ward.
The young girl, who was being treated for serious injuries from an accident earlier this month, told gardaí she was sleeping in her bed when a man approached her and sexually assaulted her.
The girl alleged that the man asked her for a kiss before she was able to raise the alarm.
Two nurses on duty elsewhere in the ward were alerted to the issue and came to assist.
Head of the Irish Patients Association Stephen McMahon said the important thing to assess at this time was what considerations were made about a young person being admitted to an all-male ward.
he said he would be shocked if there was not an inquiry into how the decision was made to admit the young girl.
“The issue is the protection of a child, particularly in an enterprise of a state. There certainly needs to be an inquiry, not just into the decision, but also was there any additional provision put on because they knew there was a vulnerable person in the ward?
"What other options were there? Had all options been explored?”
A man, whom gardaí wish to interview, was in having surgery at the time and it is reported that he is currently not fit for questioning by gardaí.
A spokesperson for Cork University Hospital said: