Former Nursing Home Boss Should Return To 'Face The Music'

The former owner of a Kilkenny nursing home – who has been under investigation in relation to the care of residents and who owes thousands of euros to union members – should return from Australia to "face the music", SIPTU Organiser, Louise O’Reilly has said.

The call follows reports that Miriam 'Gerri' Holmes was fired by a nursing home in Wonthaggi, near Melbourne, in July.

She had also been let go by another nursing home in Melbourne earlier this year.

The dismissal followed coverage in the Australian media of Holmes activities in Ireland and her treatment of SIPTU members.

Holmes and her daughter, Hayley, were the directors of the Avondale Private Nursing Home in Callan, county Kilkenny, when it was closed in June 2011 by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

A number of SIPTU members at the nursing home had previously been dismissed after they consistently raised concerns over the ill treatment of patients.

Last year, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) found that several SIPTU members were constructively dismissed, after Holmes failed to appear to offer any defence to their claims on three occasions.

The EAT awarded compensation to up to seven SIPTU members, which Holmes failed to pay.

It later emerged that Holmes and her daughter had left the country, resurfacing in Australia.

SIPTU Organiser, Louise O'Reilly, said: "The Holmes should return to Ireland immediately to face the music and meet their outstanding responsibilities."

In a statement, Bass Coast Regional Health, the Australian company which runs the Armitage House nursing home in Wonthaggi where Holmes most recently worked, said the reasons for terminating her employment were unrelated to her activities in Ireland.


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