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Muckamore Abbey Hospital provides inpatient assessment and treatment facilities for people with severe learning disabilities and mental health needs, forensic needs or challenging behaviour. Alamy Stock Photo

Man (53) arrested as part of Muckamore Abbey Hospital investigation

More than 20 people have been arrested as part of the investigation so far.

PSNI DETECTIVES INVESTIGATING allegations of ill-treatment of patients at Muckamore Abbey Hospital arrested a 53-year-old man in the Antrim area this morning.

Allegations of abuse at the hospital, which treats patients with severe mental and physical disabilities, first came to light in 2017.

Police said they reviewed thousands of hours of CCTV footage as part of a major investigation.

This morning’s arrest takes the total number of arrests made so far to 26.

Seven people are also to face charges for a range of offences including ill-treatment and wilful neglect contrary to the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986, in connection with the alleged ill-treatment of patients at the hospital.

An inquiry into allegations of abuse at Muckamore Abbey Hospital officially began in October.

In an interview with the Irish News in August, the lead detective on the case Detective Chief Inspector Jill Duffie, said there was evidence of 1,500 offences on one ward at the facility.

“There is something very difficult about watching this footage due to the vulnerability of the patients. It is very difficult to watch. I have seen the physical abuse of patients, yes,” she told BBC Radio Ulster.

Human rights law group Phoenix Law previously told The Journal that the families are “distraught” that no one at a senior level intervened to halt the harm done to vulnerable patients.

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