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Tycoons' UK care home to close after TV probe

A BRITISH care home owned by four Irish tycoons is to close on Friday amid allegations that vulnerable patients were abused.

JP McManus, Dermot Desmond, John Magnier (inset below) and Denis Brosnan have found themselves caught up in a storm over Winterbourne View hospital near Bristol.

The home for people with learning disabilities was the subject of a BBC Panorama probe which exposed accusations of abuse.

Winterbourne is part of the Castlebeck Group, which is ultimately owned by the four Irishmen and a number of other wealthy investors.

The BBC spent months investigating after it was approached by a whistleblower, Terry Bryan, who is a former nurse at the hospital.

Castlebeck now says it had "voluntarily relinquished the hospital registration" of Winterbourne View, near Bristol, where 13 members of staff have been suspended.

Just a "handful" of patients remained there, South Gloucestershire Council added.

In a short statement, Co Durham-based Castlebeck said: "The hospital will effectively close this Friday, when the last patients are transferred to alternative services.

"Castlebeck has been working closely with families and carers, commissioners and other professionals from the NHS and social services to ensure patients are safely transferred with minimum disruption to their lives."

Avon and Somerset Police have arrested and bailed eight men and three women in connection with the case.