Muckamore Abbey probe ramping up, say police

Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Antrim. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Antrim. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

The PSNI say the scale of their investigation into allegations of ill treatment of patients at a hospital for adults with learning and mental disabilities has increased.

The criminal investigation into allegations that patients at Muckamore Abbey hospital in Co Antrim has been ongoing since September 2017 and now involves 300 allegations of ill treatment.

The families of patients— described as some of Nortehrn Ireland’s most vulnerable — have been calling for a public inquiry.

Detective Chief Inspector Jill Duffie is heading up the PSNI probe.

She issued a written statement providing an update on the investigation earlier this week.

“This has been and continues to be an extremely complex investigation that involves 300 allegations of ill treatment and hundreds of thousands of hours of CCTV footage,” she said.

“As the scale of our investigation has increased, so too has the size of our specialist team of detectives. We keep the resourcing of the team under constant review and we may allocate additional resources in future as the investigation develops.”

She continued: “From the outset we have been committed to working closely with families, with the aim of keeping them as informed as much as we possibly can and we will continue to do so.

“I would like to reassure them and the public that we are working through every single report and every minute of CCTV footage to bring anyone guilty of any criminal offences before the courts.”

Calls for a public inquiry have been backed by all five of Northern Ireland’s largest political parties but, because of the political deadlock at Stormont, there is no minister to order such an inquiry.