70 rodent control visits to care centre

A pest control company called to Áras Attracta more than 70 times in the past three years, tackling infestations of rodents in residential bungalows, stores, and workshops at the care centre.

Two traps and seven bait boxes were placed in a single bungalow last November after mice were spotted at the HSE facility for intellectually disabled adults in Co Mayo.

The facility was the subject of an RTÉ Prime Time documentary in 2014.

The programme revealed evidence of abuse and prompted a Garda investigation that resulted in a number of staff being convicted of assault.

Health watchdog Hiqa has warned the centre to improve conditions or face closure.

Inspection reports released under the Freedom of Information Act show that pest control specialists attended the centre on more than 70 occasions between 2015 and the end of last year at a cost of €3,378.

Mice were detected in areas of the centre including a workshop and a day services room, at the back of a health centre, as well as in stores, the maintenance department, and a boiler house. 

Rodents were also regularly detected in the centre’s residential bungalows, which accommodate service users with intellectual disabilities.

Last October, mice were reported in the workshop, the day services room, and Bungalow 4, according to the inspection reports.

In November, pest control specialists were again called out to the centre in response to the sighting of a mouse in the sitting room of Bungalow 12.

A request for comment was referred by the HSE to its Community Health Organisation (CHO) for Galway, Mayo, and Roscommon.

However, the CHO did not respond.

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