Posted: November 28th, 2017
Five staff members in the State healthcare system took sexual harassment allegations over the last few years, claiming they were sexually assaulted by service users, according to a report published by RTE in November 2017.
The State Claims Agency has not made public actual details about where the supposed abuse happened in these or any other cases.
The claims relate to incidents that took place between 2012 and 2016 and make up almost half of all sexual harassment claims being taken care by the State Claims Agency on behalf of the State.
The State Claims Agency had, until recently, refused to release any information on these allegations.
There have been appeals from the Fianna Fail political party and the Oireachtas Justice Committee for the State Claims Agency to make available a detailed breakdown of all sexual harassment claims made against separate public sector bodies. This comes after the initial refusal by the State Claims Agency to publish such a breakdown, by employer and sector, of all the sexual harassment allegations which it operates for the State.
Additionally, in November The Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee wrote to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan asking him to get behind a request for the data to be released to the public. As a result of this the State Claims Agency made available a small amount of information on the amount of claims. However, it did not reveal where the claims came from.
In a statement issued it was revealed that the State Claims Agency has managed 11 claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, which it said was “referable to three State Authorities, inclusive of all Delegated Healthcare Agencies, in the years 2012 to 2016”.
It also revealed that in six of the cases they’ve handled the alleged assailant and victim are both staff members. In the other five cases they said the person believed responsible for the assault was a service user in the healthcare area and the victim was a member of staff.