Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has said the ERHA was warned of sub-standard conditions in Leas Cross Nursing Home ten months before the RTÉ Prime Time investigation was broadcast.
Mr Kenny described the Leas Cross scandal as social savagery and he criticised the HSE for failing to take action against the owners of the nursing home despite numerous warnings in the preceding year.
Yesterday the HSE blamed system failures for the situation that arose in the Leas Cross Nursing Home and said that, following the Prime Time investigation, they immediately moved to rectify the situation.
Mr Kenny said that inspectors were well aware of the conditions in the nursing home as early as August 2004.
He quoted directly from a letter sent to the ERHA by a healthcare management consultant outlining conditions he witnessed in the nursing home.
The author of the letter is Martin Hynes, who carried out an independent investigation into the death of former Leas Cross patient Peter McKenna.
During his visit to Leas Cross, Mr Hynes was accompanied by an inspector from the Health Board.
Mr Hynes also disputes the claims by the HSE that there is a robust system of inspections now in place.
- This is ridicoulas that they could try and play dumb, now we know what type of cover up merchants we have running things in our health service