The Taoiseach has confirmed that a Garda investigation is under way into the alleged drunken assault of a 74-year-old woman on a trolley in University Hospital Galway who was subsequently found on the floor “screaming in pain” with a broken hip.

Independent Galway TD Catherine Connolly raised the case in the Dáil yesterday, saying the Government had been “put on notice repeatedly about the state of the Galway hospital”.

According to the Irish Times, Deputy Connolly said the 74-year old woman was “allegedly assaulted by somebody who was drunk and roaming about with a carer but not being properly cared for”, and alleged that there was no security at the scene.

The elderly woman had spent 72 hours on a trolley, having been admitted from another hospital with a suspected infection. She was found “screaming in pain” on the floor.

Her family, with no medical training, diagnosed that her hip was broken, but said  “she was taken back to a bed or trolley and left for five solid hours without having an X-ray or pain relief”.

The hospital only addressed the family’s concerns after they had made a formal complaint. They received a phone call to say an investigation was ongoing, but got no further information.

Taoiseach Leo Varadker confirmed that a Garda inquiry is under way, along with another investigation by the hospital authorities.

The Taoiseach also pointed out that a new emergency department is being planned for University Hospital Gaway, which he accepted was long-overdue.



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