Independent TD Mattie McGrath is set to place a Private Members Bill dealing with the prevention and punishment of Elder Abuse before the Dáil today. Deputy McGrath will initiate the first stage of his Vulnerable Persons Bill 2015 after the Order of Business:
“This is an issue that I have come across time and again down through all the years that I have been a public representative.
We urgently need to have a national conversation around what is in the main an insidious and mostly secretive phenomenon that continues to plague elderly people in this State.
I have been in direct contact with advocacy sections of organisations like Age Action Ireland who are very supportive of the capacity of the PMB to create a space for debate on this matter at Government level.
Primarily the Bill will attempt to codify in law specific instances of elder abuse; particularly financial abuse of the elderly who may lack mental and physical capacity to guard against such abuse occurring.
It is my sincere hope that the Government will recommit to and reprioritise this issue given that the latest data we have demonstrates that from 2007 to 2013 alone there over 13,000 referrals of such abuse recorded and assessed by Senior Case Workers in the HSE.
The elderly are as we know a distinctly vulnerable group. To that extent we must target our legislative and legal resources at shoring up all the defences necessary that will give them greater protection and security of mind,” concluded Deputy McGrath.