Five staff members at the Áras Attracta residential centre in Co Mayo are to be charged with assault, it is understood, following an investigation into care standards at the HSE-run facility in Swinford.

The garda inquiry followed an RTÉ Investigations Unit programme last December.

It featured undercover footage showing residents with intellectual disabilities being slapped, force fed, physically restrained and shouted at.

A total of 13 staff members were suspended following the programme: "Inside Bungalow 3".

Separate inquiries were launched by the Health Service Executive and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

A detailed file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions at the conclusion of the garda investigation earlier this year.

The inquiry, which took three months to complete, examined the actions of 13 staff members at Áras Attracta.

A team of detectives carried out a detailed analysis of hundreds of hours of CCTV footage as well as reviewing the material filmed by RTÉ.

Interviews were conducted with care staff and relatives of those living in the home.

The investigation, described as "complex and extensive", resulted in a substantial file being submitted to the DPP.

After considering its content, gardaí have been directed to bring assault charges against five staff members. The eight others will not face prosecution.

On foot of the instructions from the DPP, gardaí are now seeking summonses to proceed to court hearings.

The charges will be brought under Section 2 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. Proceedings will be taken at the District Court in the coming months.

The maximum penalty for anyone convicted on these charges is a fine of up to €1,905 or up to six months in jail - or both.

It is understood that one of the five people will face a number of charges, with the four others being charged on one count each.