Ardee man Brendan Kerin was a guest on LMFM’s Mid-Morning Show on Thursday afternoon where he discussed his new role with the charity Dignity 4 Patients, an organisation who work with people who have suffered sexual assault or inappropriate sexual behaviour whilst a patient in a medical or therapeutic setting.
Kerin, who is a former Louth senior county player and is well known in the town for his association with Ardee St Marys – first as a player and latterly for serving a number of years as club chairman – spoke to host Paul McKenna about what Dignity 4 Patients do and also urged people to donate to the charity’s runners in the upcoming Boyne 10k.
The charity is a patient support and advocacy organisation, founded by Bernadette Sweeney. A nurse herself, Sweeney founded the organisation in 2008 after she discovered a growing necessity for such a service in light of reports of sexual assualt or inappropriate behavior in medical settings.
Having left the role of St Marys chairman last year, Kerin – who works for Permanent TSB – was on the lookout to involve himself in another worthwhile role. When he was introduced to Sweeney, he decided to get involved.
“I was introduced to Bernadette Sweeney who is CEO of Dignity 4 Patients,” he told LMFM. “She told me a lot about what they do and why they do it. I’ve got involved and I’m trying to help them out the best I can.
“What they do is they look after and provide services for people who have unfortunately had sexual assualt of inappropriate sexual advances while in a medical of therapuetic environment. The charity does extremely good work there,” he explained.
“People contact us and it’s extremely condiential. It’s nurse and councillor led and we move at the speed the clients coming to us wish to move at. The whole idea is to try and help them the best we can.”
In studio, Kerin explained that the charity offers counselling and support to anyone who may have been affected by such an event. In talking with clients, practical advice is also available for clients going forward.
“The most important thing for Dignity4Patients is the wellbeing aspect and the way forward for people who come to us. We would talk to the people and find out what is the best solution for them. If we do believe that there has been a criminal event, then we would recommend to them that they should bring that to the Gardai but it is the choice of the client as to whether they do that.
“We will bring them through that and give them the value of our experience to help them,” he continued.
The service is available to men and woman and the charity has grown to the point where they now have a whole team of people who provide such services. The service is based in Grange Rath in Drogheda and do have a lot of clients from the north east – a high percentage of which are males “Unfortunately we do still get new clients – both male and female – coming to us from all around the country,” Kerin told the Mid-Morning Show.
“You do put your life in the hands of the people involved. Obviously, in 99.999% of the time, that’s a good experience but every now and then there is a bad experience and that’s what Dignity 4 Patients is there to help people with. It’s the only service of this nature in Ireland. We cover the entire country.
“Obviously, there are certain things that should never happen. If people are unsure if something has happened, they can always make contact with Dignity 4 Patients and we will have a chat with them.”
The Boyne 10k takes place in Drogheda on Sunday April 30th and the event is one of the big annual fundraisers for Dignity 4 Patients. This year thye have 40 people involved, but are always on the look out for more competitors who would be willing to run and be sponsored for the charity.
The Dignity 4 Patients helpline is 041 984 5761 and if you’re interested in running the Boyne 10k for the organisation you can call 086 165 4111 or e-mail [email protected]
You can listen back to the entire Brendan Kerin interview on LMFM’s website by clicking here.