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Please note that text in red denotes my comments

My letter to Bairbre De Brun MLA Minister of Health dated 20/1/2002.

Dear Minister,

I would be grateful if your office could tell me what rights mental patients and their families have after putting them in the 'Care' of the Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court.
My late father died in 1972 leaving my brother, Freddie, a very valuable Estate in Central Belfast and the family home.
He was given property rather than money so that he and my elderly mother would be secure for life.
Freddie's Estate was systematically plundered and his home sold between 1972 and 1978.
We did approach a Fraud Officer with the help of a well-known Journalist in 1980 to investigate the disposal of Freddie's estate.
This officer, in the R.U.C. for over 20 years, visited all members of the family.
His two-year in-depth investigation exposed the crimes of fraud, forgery, malpractice and misappropriation.
His findings were thrown out by Brian Hall as Notes and Jottings.
He was denied the right to speak in Court.
We put Freddie in so-called Care of the Courts in late 1979, yet property owned by my brother was re-valued and sold by the courts a year after we put him in Care, in 1980. This has never been explained.
The family were denied the right to question the Powers-that-be.
The Solicitors we engaged appeared to ignore any information given to them.
The Judge asked them if they had anything to say and they stood up and said NO.
This is a cruel rejection of mentally impaired members of society.
It was left to myself and my late sister to run up to the judge and put in plain terms what had happened to other properties in the Smithfield areas.
The session was immediately closed with no explanation given.
Freddie as an individual was not only badly let down by the Courts but by those in Society who 'looked the other way', i.e. Senior R.U.C. Officers, the DPP,the Mental Health Association in University Street, the Mental Health Commission, the Law Society etc.
Up to now the R.U.C. have denied us the right to obtain a copy of the 2 year fraud Investigation.
The whole experience has been a nightmare.
It is unbelievable that crimes committed against Freddie are kept hidden, not only by the R.U.C. but by the office of the Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court.
I have discussed this with M.P.s here and in England and also with parents of those with Mental difficulties.
If it hadn't been for the Press and constant help, over the years, from business friends of my late father who still live in the Smithfield area, this case would never have seen 'the light of day'.
Brian Hall interfered into my elderly mother's affairs as soon as she died, aged 96.
He took control of the money we had deposited into her bank account.
Cheques that came periodically amounting to 21,000 just disappeared.
Brian Hall had no right whatsoever to interfere in my mother's will or to take her affairs out of the control of the Solicitor we appointed to protect her.
It would appear that the only way out of this mess was to denigrate the entire family.
It is a dirty game but one that is used, often, to 'muddy the water' and keep those who would wish to help, confused - to say the least.
My father was a very well-respected Director and owner of Andrews and Company, at 60 Smithfield Square, Belfast.
The Andrews name had been before the public for over one hundred years.
He would have been shocked if he had known what happened to his son. He was literally 'thrown to the wolves'.
I have no intention of giving up my twenty-year fight for justice.
The entire system appears to be falling apart.
Families of those in need of protection are completely ignored. We are second class citizens as far as the courts are concerned.
I would be delighted if you could give us any advice re.Rules etc, that should be available to us so that we have the opportunity to open this 'Can of Worms'.
What happens to patients who have no families?
If you cannot help, perhaps you could put us in touch with a Human Rights Group or any Organisation willing to listen to members of the family.
I am now getting help from my current solicitor, P. Drinan of Donegal Square South.
I will be sending her a copy of this letter.
I know, as a Minister of Health, you have an enormous task of dealing with many other difficult situations, but we would appreciate your interest in this Branch of Mental Health.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. Eileen Wright.


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