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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020
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Cabinet to discuss protection for whistleblowers

The issue of whistleblowers, which is contained in the Programme for Government, has been highlighted in recent weeks following the dismissal of Louise Bayliss.

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Government Buildings
Image: Cathrine Johansson via Flickr/Creative Commons

THE CABINET IS set to discuss whistleblower legislation at a meeting tomorrow morning.

The issue, which has been raised in recent weeks following the dismissal of a whistleblower working in St Brendan’s Hospital at Grangegorman, is contained within the Programme for Government.

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Mid-West Derek Keating welcomed the move.

“If advocates like Louise Bayliss are to continue to unveil wrong-doings as they see them, they need to know that they will be protected by the State,” he said.

“Louise’s treatment at the hands of her employer has led her to believe that there are many other people who are being treated badly or threatened by middle management in an attempt to cover up low standards, wrong-doings to service users or bad management practices”.

The Programme for Government contains a plan for a Whistleblowers Act which would protect public servants who expose serious issues in their jobs.

There was controversy last year when the HSE took over a Dublin nursing home after allegations that residents may have been subjected to physical and verbal abuse.

Kathleen Lynch, the Minister for State with responsibility for Older People, said at the time that she was horrified that whistleblowers had been afraid to be interviewed by the health services watchdog.

Last week the whistleblower who had her employment terminated shortly after she went to the media about concerns over how patients were treated in a mental health unit was reinstated by her employer.

Louise Bayliss had raised concerns over a number of mental health patients who were to stay in a  locked unit in St Brendan’s Hospital in Grangegorman for Christmas.

Upon her reinstatement Bayliss said that she hoped her case would give other whistleblowers the courage to come forward.

Grangegorman whistleblower Louisee Baylis reinstated by Irish Advocacy Network

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