Avondale owner willing to return to face questions
The owner of Kilkenny’s former Avondale Nursing Home, who left the country and moved to Australia last summer, has said she will return home to co-operate with a Garda investigation if necessary.
Miriam Holmes, who ran the facility with her daughter Hayley, stands accused of ‘reckless abandonment’ of residents, as well as the theft of money from clients. Her solicitor Patrick Moylan has said she is willing to return home and be interviewed by Gardaí, and will challenge the allegations made against the pair.
The Health Information and Quality Authority closed the Kilkenny nursing home last August amid concerns over the residents’ safety. However Ms Holmes maintains that the home was forced to close owing to financial difficulties.
Last week it emerged that Ms Holmes and her daughter had been working in an Australian nursing home near Melbourne.
The Garda investigation – into allegations of theft and ‘reckless abandonment’ against Miriam and Hayley Holmes – remains ongoing.
They could yet face prosecution by the Health Information and Quality Authority for multiple breaches of regulations designed to keep nursing home residents safe.
Under the 2007 Health Act, prosecutions can be brought against nursing home owners who breach care regulations. The maximum fine is €70,000 or a two-year prison term.