“The Truth Will Out”



CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland Tadhg Daly and Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd in the Dáil today at the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response

This afternoon.

At the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response in the Dáil.

Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd raised with CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland Tadhg Daly the millions of euro in profits made by nursing homes; and how just 123 of 581 nursing homes were fully compliant with HIQA.

Initially, Mr O’Dowd went through a timeline of correspondence and contact between the NHI and the Department of Health during the coronavirus crisis, including a conference call Mr O’Dowd claimed took place with the Minister for Health Simon Harris on March 19.

Mr Daly said he didn’t believe such a conference call with the minister took place. He said the first meeting with the minister took place on March 30. Mr O’Dowd said his information is that the conference call with the minister did take place on March 19.

Mr O’Dowd told the committee that the correspondence shows that “nobody from NPHET asked Nursing Home Ireland not to tell families where the cases or clusters were”, a claim reported on the front page of the Business Post at the weekend.

The Fine Gael TD said:

“The key point I’m making to you is your statement that ‘key State organisations left the nursing home sector and its residents isolated’ is patently and obviously untrue.”

He added:

You’ve 12 directors, all businessmen and businesswomen. I looked at their accounts and there’s some very wealthy companies represented among your directors who are very fine people in every respect. €23.3million was a profit in the last accounting year for eight of those directors and for the other directors, I can’t get the accounts because they’re a part of other companies.

“So would it be fair to say that the nursing home sector is a privately funded organisation and has a lot of money for buying things like PPE for doing test, for paying for staff accommodation, for paying for extra staff in this crisis?”

Mr Daly said: “Yes, absolutely…”

Asked later what funds NHI spend additionally to the normal nursing homes funds to get PPE, to pay for testing and extra staff, Mr Daly said:

“It runs into the millions and I can get those figures for you.”

Mr O’Dowd argued:

“You were recompensed… and I’m not saying that’s not a bad thing. You got the money back that you spent. That’s the point I’m making. To say that you were left isolated is not a fact.”

He added:

“In the last public report on your nursing homes, how many of them were compliant fully with HIQA regulations? Of the 581 homes, how many were fully compliant?”

Mr Daly said he didn’t know.

Mr O’Dowd said:

Well I have…the fact is that 123 only, of the 581 nursing homes, public, private, not-for-profit, were fully compliant. And of those, governance and management, there was a failure under that governance and management regulation of 32%. Residents rights failure of 23% non-compliance. Risk management 22%. And infection control 18%.”

At the end of his contribution, Mr O’Dowd referenced an article in The Guardian about Hong Kong, saying:

“The point is you are making the point that the State, or the HSE or the minister or department didn’t assist you: I believe that you did and I believe you could have done a lot more for yourself and you didn’t do that.

“…. I am going to say this as loud as I can. And it is exceptionally clear and it is something that I say all my life. That the care of old people, older people in nursing homes is not acceptable. That the nursing home private sector is not compliant in the main, right across. That they are very wealthy companies who complain that the taxpayer isn’t doing enough for them.

“I want to say exceptionally clearly  that we need a total change in the way the care of older people is looked at….We’ve to stop this game of blaming everybody and to accept the facts: the facts are that we’re not doing enough. We’ve never done enough and unless things change now, we’re going to go down the same road…

“…In Hong Kong, there is no death certificate in all of Hong Kong for one person from a nursing home who had Covid-19 because nobody died there. Nobody died there. And I just get so angry at this.

“And I think, sorry Mr Chairman, I’ve 14 seconds left. Let me say that I think that we need to move forward together but we must establish the facts and the truth is the truth and the truth will out. We have to change absolutely, radically, everything to do with older people.”

Watch live here

Previously: Meanwhile In The Dáil



16 thoughts on ““The Truth Will Out”

  1. Kate

    If HiQA deemed only 18% of nursing homes were non complaint on infection control there would NEVER have been a shortage of PPE equipment. HIQA got it wrong— you don’t allow nursing homes to rush out to buy a fire extinguisher when the building is one fire, do you? O Dowd is waffling.

    1. Chummley

      Maybe as they are referred to as bed blockers cleared out of hospitals and dumped into nursing homes unchecked had something to do with it and the fact at one time no PPE just bin liners and little nurses not midgets

  2. Fintan Frobisher

    A thread on the scandal of Covid-19 deaths and lack of PPE in nursing homes which has led to Ireland having the second worst death figures in this sector in the world attracts just a single response in an hour.
    Mention Dominic Cummings or Boris Johnson and you’d be knocked over by the rush of posters with an opinion.
    Priorities,eh ?

    1. wearnicehats

      Ireland does not have the second worst death figures. Not by a long long way. They have the second highest percentage of deaths but, in terms of numbers, Ireland is nowhere. Typical incorrect use of statistics.

      1. scottser

        apparently ‘Barnay Castle’ is a 16thC colloquialism that refers to the situation of Sir George Bowes, who refused to leave Barnard Castle, Durham to fight during the 1569 Rising of the North. It is used when a person makes a poor excuse in a still worse cause. – ‘come now lad, that’s barnay castle’
        literally, our charger is giving us barnay castle

  3. Johnnythree

    I would only I have a zoom meeting and had no lunch. But I . Will. Be. Back. !

  4. Vluffy

    Ah here

    gas how they saw fit to poke at the earnings of these nursing home owners
    yet go over and above to add Millions and Millions more into the pockets the Private Hospital owners

    Pathetic misdirection Fine Gael
    and I can tell ye Tadgie Daly is not the lad to drag into the ring for this fight

    and isn’t it a Fine Gael original that got Nursing Homes designated Industrial for tax purposes which is what attracted commercial investors into the game
    Privatising long term care, like they (FFFG) did with the provision of social housing, is what made Nursing Home and residential Convalescent Care a business and an investment vehicle for those money bags that are allergic to tax
    not the traditional Nursing Home care Sector that operated for all those decades pre Celtic Tiger

    How much of that 23.3 million ended up in a former Minister for Health’s pocket btw?

    1. Otis Blue

      I’d really like to see what crawls from out from under that particular rock.

      Off topic but has mini Minister Daly, who opted not to stand for re-election last February, made public his future career plans?

  5. wearnicehats

    O’Dowd fails to mention that Hong Kong had over 40% of the world’s recorded deaths from Sars in 2003. They’ve had 17 years to learn that lesson. As a result of the emergency protocols put in place in that time, nursing homes were able to act autonomously without needing direction from the government when it came to COVID.

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