‘I Expect It To Be Ignored, As The Elderly Have Been Ignored’


More than 500 patients were transferred from hospitals to nursing homes at the height of the pandemic. Ireland has had the second highest death rate in care settings in the world with 1,030 victims.

This morning.

Further to the Government’s plan to permit the phrased re-introduction of visits to nursing homes and care facilities from June 15….

Dr Marcus de Brun writes:

Opening nursing homes to the public next week is potentially disastrous and simply repeats the recent mistakes that have led to so many deaths. I have sent this letter to Minister Harris today. However, I expect it to be ignored, as the elderly have been ignored to date.

Previously: Elderly Lives



18 thoughts on “‘I Expect It To Be Ignored, As The Elderly Have Been Ignored’

  1. Liam Deliverance

    Well said Dr de Brun, very much needed to be said, over to you Deputy Harris.

  2. Johnny

    Just a FYI-maybe Cian can help but are not the vast majority of these private institutions and as such free set whatever visiting hours they wish,provide whatever tests they like going forward ?

    ‘According to the latest NBC News tally, nearly 40,000 coronavirus deaths are associated with nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities since the beginning of the pandemic — representing almost 40 percent of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S.”


      1. Johnny

        It’s really not my area,I’m deemed a essential. worker and haven’t really followed it,we have tests and testing equipment everywhere,but it seems a simple enough solution,only visit the folks in the garden or outdoors and the homes can provide whatever tests they like.

        Much more time energy and effort should be invested in the next generation who have been home schooled for months many without high speed broadband or tablets, as a voting block this cohort gets pandered to,the whole ventilation thing is a big scam with some studies showing 95% mortality rates.

  3. wearnicehats

    Unfortunately when the man walked away from his responsibilities he kind of lost the moral high ground in terms of throwing stones from afar

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Maybe he walked away from the possibility of being put up as a fall guy down the road? Maybe he wouldn’t be able to be so open if he was in the employ of Holohan/Harris directly relating to the pandemic?

      His ground is a lot higher morally than Holohan’s I’d like to think – look up the Cervical Cancer testing scandal and how moral Holohan was during that.

      And no harm drawing attention to Harris’ abilities either.

      is there anything in his letter that you’d disagree with?

      1. wearnicehats

        I’d like him to publish his communications prior to his resignation where he clearly advised his paymasters of their errors in judgement and where he advised them in good time as to how they should be acting to prevent the crisis that he must have foreseen. That way we could see how him being ignored directly led to the situation that caused him to resign or allow us to consider how the timescale of his protests might have allowed an intervention that saved the day for everyone. Without that you could just argue that the was being wise after the fact and, knowing it was all too late, threw a few stones and walked away (less than 2 years into his 5 year term). Anyone who has ever been employed knows that the brown stuff flows downhill. And as to him being a fallguy, well, again, anyone who has ever been employed knows that the fallguy is the last guy to walk out because all subsequent problems are blamed on them by those remaining.

        1. GiggidyGoo

          The communications when he was employed are probably privileged and ownership is probably with the Dept. Of Health.

          1. Cian

            I’m not sure about that.
            – The Irish Medical Council is self-funding and independent from Dept of Health/HSE.
            – They deal with medical misconduct cases – so those details are most likely private/privileged.
            – Any other information that is discussed should not be “privileged” – and even if there were – the whistle-blower legislation would cover him (if it were in the public interest).

            I’m not sure what input, if any, the IMC would have had to government COVID planning/MPHET. I suspect he resigned to highlight his dissatisfaction with the government planning – nothing to do with the IMC itself. And I’m not aware of him making any communications prior to his resignation.

          2. Johnny

            Just remember a vote for FFG is a vote for murdering your own parents via state sponsored euthanasia:)

    2. Johnnythree

      But of course you can ask questions and send letters after you left a post. Especially if they are within your area of expertise and in the public interest.

  4. Ringsend Incinerator

    There is a big question to be asked as to why there are “nursing homes” at all. I realize there are corner cases, medical reasons, and more, but why shouldn’t older people generally be allowed the dignity of staying in their own homes? Don’t their families also have a responsibility here to provide care too?

    Just shunting people off to be out of sight in an institution seems wrong.

    1. Cian

      You could ask the same about crèches.

      It is possible that people are living too long. Your average 90-year-old’s kids are all in their 60s and too busy looking after their grandchildren!

    2. Mick

      In the vast, vast majority of cases of people in nursing homes who have family, that family would almost always want to care for their loved in at home, but it’s not possible in lots of cases.
      It would seem obvious to me that you have never had to live through the agonising decision of deciding whether a loved one could be better cared for by professionals in a caring facility, or at home, where the prime carer will undoubtedly love them, but may be reaching breaking point by trying to care for someone whose needs are just getting too difficult to manage.

      Firstly, it would require someone to be there constantly, to care for the older person, someone who is fit and healthy enough to enable them to get out of bed, bring them to the toilet, shower, wherever they want/ need to go. In most cases, those who would be caring for older people at home are often elderly spouses or children themselves.
      Secondly, the direct cost of doing that, such as having to modify the home to allow wheelchair access, for example, or fit out a new shower with no lip on the shower tray so a shower chair can be wheeled in, grab bars, maybe a hospital style bed, or a hoist to get them in and out of their bed/ chair, maybe a special chair, etc., etc. For the vast majority of people in this situation, this cost has to be borne directly by the family, with little to no state subvention.
      There are very few people in nursing homes in my experience who are “shunted off out of sight” – except at the present time, where relatives can’t visit. Those who work in nursing homes will tell you of the general feelings of sadness and despondency among residents of nursing homes right now, especially in cases where they can’t understand why their loved ones are not visiting.
      The guilt felt by families who have had no choice but to place a loved one in a nursing home or other caring facility is immense, and never leaves you; “Could I have cared for them longer/ better at home?” “Was it just selfishness on my part?” “Did I just do it for a quiet life?”

      1. wearnicehats


        RIngsend Incinerator should maybe try to borrow someone with advanced dementia for a week. Doesn’t have to be a relative – anyone will do because that person doesn’t know who you are anyway. Start off by giving up your job – this person requires 24 hour attention. Then fit locks to your doors so they cannot be opened from the inside – so the person cannot leave and wander off. Fit a medical bed in their room and invest in a commode, which you’ll empty after cleaning them. If you can persuade them to get dressed (be prepared to be hit several times during this process) then you’ll have to feed them their breakfast – if they’ll let you. Ditto lunch. ditto dinner. Then maybe you’ll get them to get changed for bed. In the intervening hours they will, if you’re lucky, stare vacantly at the tv, or the walls, inbetween attempts to leave the house to get to some imaginary place from the past. Imagine a 6 foot tall, reasonable active and strong baby but without any cognitive ability, The fact is that people like that cannot operate in a domestic environment. In a humane society there should be living wills and euthanasia to put these poor souls out of their misery because it is just that – an awful, miserable existence where death is the only thing to look forward to

        1. Matt Pilates

          You might have bothered reading some of the caveats in the original post.

          @wearnicehats + @Mick – where is the person being consigned to a nursing home’s opinion in all this?

  5. LuvinLunch

    My lovely neighbour was moved from hospital to a nursing home that had no staff. Two days he was left without even water. His family begged to take him home but they wouldn’t allow it. He died since, not of covid, and would have died anyway, but he didn’t need to suffer like that. Nursing home policy has been disastrous

    1. Sirtuffyknight

      I was in the eye casualty in the Mater a couple of years ago and a nursing home patient was brought in by a care worker in a wheelchair and left there on her own for at least the 8 hours I was there with no food or water. She managed to use the bathroom by herself but needed help cleaning up and had to ask me for assistance. She was clearly mortified by the whole situation, had tried calling family members but they were all busy. Couldn’t believe they left her there without a carer, god knows how much her family are paying for her to be in that home every month.

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