Questions are being asked as to why a teenage girl was placed in an all-male ward at a Cork hospital where she was allegedly sexually assaulted by an older man.
Gardaí will have to rely on witnesses if they are to prosecute the culprit, because there’s no CCTV in the ward where it allegedly happened at Cork University Hospital.
The girl had been admitted to the hospital after sustaining injuries in an accident.
It’s understood that she claims she was woken in the early hours of the morning by a man who sexually assaulted her.
The girl then contacted two nurses who were elsewhere on duty and gardaí were notified about the allegation earlier this week.
A Garda spokesman confirmed that a complaint had been received and that “investigations are ongoing”.
Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley, who is a member of the HSE South Forum, said she is shocked by the incident: “I’m appalled to hear something like that. Not in a million years should a teenage girl have been put in an all-male ward. I find that truly unbelievable.”
The hospital is refusing to make any comment on why the girl had been placed in an all-male unit.
Ms Linehan-Foley said she will be asking senior HSE personnel to explain why there appears to be no policy in place to segregate the sexes, “especially as a girl was involved in this”.
An initial complaint about the incident was made to gardaí in Bishopstown, which is part of the Togher Garda District.
However, it was then passed on for investigation to experts from the Garda National Protective Services Bureau who are based at Garda divisional headquarters in Anglesea St.
The hospital has said that it is co-operating with the garda investigation into the incident.
It is believed gardaí have already spoken to the teenage girl and to her parents.
It is expected they will also speak to nursing staff and people who were in the ward at the time.
A spokeswoman for the hospital declined to comment further as the garda investigation is ongoing.
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