[Sinn Fein]

27 March 2001

Filipino nurses' Dickensian housing - full inquiry needed

An inquiry must be held into the reasons why 54 Filipino hospital staff working in Dublin were held in squalid conditions that breached safety regulations and ``violated their human dignity'', Dublin City Sinn Fein Councillor Christy Burke said today.

Following discussions with the Irish Nurses' Organisation, the Dublin City Manager and the Northern Area Health Board, the North Inner City Sinn Fein councillor said that he is calling for a full investigation as to why the nursing staff were held in ``Dickensian, cramped, unsafe conditions''.

Cllr Burke is also calling on the City Manager to place a closure order on the Gardiner Street premises in which they were staying and explain why it has not yet been inspected by the Fire Chief.  Cllr Burke said:

``We need to know who made the decision to house these nurses in such awful conditions.  After working such long, hard days, showing compassion to patients in Irish hospitals, it is incredible that the Government's reward is to cram them into an unsafe, rotten hovel.

``It's no wonder that Ireland has a nursing crisis when the Government is content to be careless about those who care. We need answers on who is responsible for this fiasco.''

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