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MY A&E. TROLLEY HORROR; Harry Potter star Gleeson reveals OAP parents' agony.

Byline: By KEVIN McDONNELL

HARRY Potter star Brendan Gleeson has slammed the Irish health service as WORSE than the Third World.

The actor had to watch as both his elderly parents were stuck on trolleys in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital -which he branded as "filthy".

Furious Brendan, 50, who starred as gangster Martin Cahill in the hit movie The General, said: "I have witnessed my parents, both in their 80s, spend days and nights on trolleys in an overcrowded unit totally ill equipped to take care of them.

"The place is overrun and, at times, filthy. This is not anecdotal, this is fact."

Last week the Dublin-born star was celebrating Oscar success after his film, Six Shooter, won the Best Short Film gong.

But it has not tempered his anger over the Beaumont Hospital shame.

He added: "The staff are unable to cope, despite incredible commitment because the set-up is stacked against them. Sick people are reduced to grabbing chairs, never mind beds from others who have gone to the toilet.

"My father spent six hours on a chair, afraid to vacate it. He's 88. He paid VHI all his life along with the heavy taxation of the day which he viewed as a duty."

Gleeson revealed his father spent a total of four days and nights on a trolley after suffering a stroke.

"He suffered a stroke and subsequent blindness. His dinner lay at the end of the trolley, untouched because they had forgotten he was blind and that he couldn't see it.

"When my dad took ill again, he refused a doctor's advice to go into hospital - he couldn't face it."

And he is still disgusted about what his mother faced at the same hospital on Dublin's Northside.

He said: '"My mother spent more than two days and nights unable to use the solitary toilet in the unit when she needed to because she could not get off the trolley unaided and, by the time she reluctantly called a nurse, the toilet was occupied again.

"This was an unspeakable indignity to a woman of her generation and standards of personal hygiene.

"When she finally got to the toilet, it was covered in blood which, incidentally, she attempted to clean."

Brendan believes pensioners have never been dealt with so badly in this country - and he blasted politicians: "We never treated our old people like that before.

"This is social cruelty and everything seems to be systematic and deliberate. "My whole belief in the notion of willing politicians is completely shattered.

"I feel like asking John O'Shea of Third World charity Goal to come and sort out our A&E wards."

The hospital A&E crisis reached record levels last week when almost 500 vulnerable patients were left on trolleys, Irish Nurses Organisation figures revealed.

General secretary Liam Doran called for more cash and staff to resolve the crisis.

He added: "The health system we have today is flawed because it hasn't been modernised."

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Brendan Gleeson's parents were forced to spend days and nights in hospital on trolleys in 'filthy' conditions' Brendan Gleeson
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 12, 2006
Words:514
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