A Tipperary TD has been called out for his inappropriate use of the word 'rape'.
In an interview with Beat News about the HSE’s recruitment crisis, Deputy Mattie McGrath said that 'the public in Ireland was being raped and plundered by a self serving management system'.
The HSE is appearing before the Oireachtas Health Committee today where issues in hospital recruitment and overcrowding are being raised by TDs and Senators.
Manager of the Rape Crisis in Wexford, Clare Williams, has condemned the use of the word in an inappropriate context.
"I was shocked at what I heard.
I feel his comments were totally insensitive and totally inappropriate.
"It's shocking that someone would use that language when it's not in the context.
"The word rape is used to describe a sexual act of violence and I condemn what he has said.
The HSE’s overcrowding and recruitment crisis was the topic of discussion while Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath took part in a phone interview last week with journalist Jess Martin for Beat 102 103.
With the rise in numbers of those waiting to be seen on trolleys and chairs in hospitals across the Nation, frustrations are felt across the board as January figures hit an all-time high.
In the interview, the TD is asked why the HSE can’t keep their staff, to which Deputy McGrath replies:
“Because there’s too much management and mismanagement… There’s managers for everything. Beds, wards, hygiene, linen, you name it! When there was one matron running the show they ran [it] efficiently… nurses were allowed to do their jobs… now it’s paper, form-filling, ticking boxes and absolute disrespect for the nurses and the frontline staff who are trying to do their best.
“It’s not rocket science to see what’s gone wrong here. It’s been hijacked.”
The Tipperary native went on to say that he could easily show us the closed hospitals and the beautifully decorated government offices (referencing the Department of Health) with their “big paintings on the walls and black plates on the doors.”
"This is where we’ve been literally raped and plundered by a management system that’s self-serving."
Manager of the Rape Crisis in Wexford, Clare Williams, says using the word out-of-context can have damaging effects for those impacted by sexual violence.
"In Wexford Rape Crisis we have hundreds and thousands of people who have come to us over the years, both children and adults, who have been impacted by the most horrendous, horrendous situations that are really unbearable for most of us to even think about.
"When something like this is heard in the public domain, it can have a really damaging impact on people who are trying to recover from sexual violence."
When Deputy McGrath was given the right to reply this afternoon, he said the following:
"If that's the way they want to take it up, you know what I meant... it was nothing to do with a sexual connotation. I've often used that term in the Dáil and elsewhere. I mean no offence in the context of a person being affected by the heinous crime of a rape.
"Totally, totally no offence in that fashion."
When we asked the Deputy if he thought the word would lose it's meaning with it being used in layman's terms and possibly discourage people from coming forward, he said, "I would encourage anyone to come forward, but how do you come forward to a system where you'll be waiting [days] to see a GP...
"If the language was inappropriate and hurt anybody I apologise, but it wasn't meant in that fashion."
If you have been effected by this story you can contact Wexford Rape Crisis on 1800 33 00 33; Tipperary Rape Crisis Centre & Counselling Centre on (052) 612 7677; or the National 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline on 1800 77 8888.