The owner of a Cork nursing home has been fined more than £2,000 after she was convicted of a number of charges in relation to the running of the home. Pauline O'Flynn of Cahereen Nursing Home, Macroom, County Cork, had pleaded not guilty to the charges at Bandon District Court.

The Southern Health Board's Director of Public Health Nursing, Phil O'Regan, told the court that there was no registered nurse on duty at the nursing home when she inspected it on 30 June last year.

This was in contravention of regulations governing the running of nursing homes. Ms O'Regan said that she had conducted the inspection on foot of an anonymous tip-off.

Pauline O'Flynn told Judge Terence Finn that she had left the nursing home on the night of 28 June, two days before the inspection. She said that she travelled to Galway to care for her father-in-law who was seriously ill and in fact died later that night.

Subsequent to her departure, Ms O'Flynn said a message had been received on behalf of the nurse in charge of the home, Maura O'Keeffe of Umerboy, Knocknagree, Mallow, County Cork, stating that she was ill and would be unable to attend work.

Ms O'Keeffe faced similar charges to Ms O'Flynn but these were dismissed on the basis that she had taken steps to find a replacement nurse to cover for her.

Pauline O'Flynn was convicted and fined £300 on each of seven charges which included failing to provide a high standard of nursing care and failing to ensure a sufficient number of competent staff were on duty at all times.