Immediate Release: 11th of November, 2016

The latest HIQA report on the Special Care Unit Coovagh House identified that a third of standards were being met, with the further two thirds requiring improvement and only one significant risk identified.

The report highlights that Coovagh House was providing adequate care for children, despite the living environment not being fit for the purpose of providing effective care after damage had been caused to the unit. EPIC welcomes HIQA’s findings, especially insofar as children’s rights were found to be respected and that the children in Coovagh House had appropriate access to advocacy services as well as social workers and legal counsel. Furthermore, children were found to have timely access to medical and other specialist health services as required.

Speaking following the publication of the report, Director of EPIC, Jennifer Gargan made the following comment:

EPIC is delighted that Coovagh House has been found to provide adequate care, and that efforts continue to be made to ensure the children have access to advocacy services. We trust that Coovagh House will address the issue of their living environment to provide children with a homely and safe care setting, and to guarantee that they have access to indoor and outdoor recreational activities.”

Through EPIC’s advocacy and research work, children and young people consistently highlight the importance of timely care plans. EPIC welcomes HIQA’s recommendation that care plans in Coovagh House be collectively reviewed.


Notes to the Editor

  1. The HIQA inspection report is available to read here: (accessed 11/11/16)
  2. Coovagh House special care unit is one of three special care units. It has capacity for up to four children of mixed gender, aged between 11 and 17 years on admission.

For all media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jennifer Gargan, Director of EPIC                    

Telephone: 01 8727 661 Mobile: 086 607 3866

Email:  Website:

EPIC (formerly IAYPIC) is an independent association that works throughout the Republic of Ireland, with and for children and young people who are currently living in care or who have had an experience of living in care.

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