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Claims woman (87) was subject of attempted sexual assault in male-dominated ward

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
It is alleged the woman was placed in a ward with five other men
It is alleged the woman was placed in a ward with five other men

An elderly woman placed in an a male-dominated hospital was the subject of an attempted sexual assault, according to her family.

Gardai are investigating claims the 87-year-old grandmother was pinned to her bed during an incident and told, "stay still, this won't take long'.

A report in today's Irish Daily Mail alleges the incident occurred in South Tipperary General Hospital on Wednesday, 28 October. 

The frail patient was allegedly placed in the ward along with five other males due to a bad chest infection. 

Her son, who remains anonymous in order to protect the woman's identity, said he was furious the hospital placed her in the ward with the men.

He told the Mail his mother was awoken by a man climbing on top of her. 

"This guy got into the bed, took off his pyjamas and took off his underpants, he got into the bed and he said to my mother, "Don't move now, this won't take long."

"It was dark and my mother - because she had the infection - wasn't able to shout out. She was shrieking and one of the guys in the ward heard her and pressed the alarm bell - and that brought the team down..."

Fortunately, the man was not able to get under the woman's bedsheets as staff intervened but the woman has been left traumatised by the incident.

It is understood the woman remains shaken as the alleged attacker is still in the hospital under 24-hour guard. 

Her son told the publication it was "shameful" what the man did and criticised the hospital for putting a "vulnerable old lady" in a room with five men. 

"When she got up to the toilet she had five men looking at her. That's wrong," he said. 

Gardai confirmed they are investigating the incident. The health watchdog HIQA are also looking into the incident along with the HSE. 

It's understood the woman has made a full statement to gardai but that no arrests have yet been made. 

The hospital said it didn't comment on individual cases but that they take such incidents "very seriously".