“I Fundamentally Disagree That We Looked After The Residents In Nursing Homes”


From top: Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, Independent TD Catherine Connolly, Independents 4 Change TD Joan Collins at a Dáil sitting in the Convention Centre yesterday


In the Dáil.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced a further financial package to assist nursing homes deal with Covid-19.

A four-person expert panel, comprised of Professor Cecily Kelleher, Professor Cillian Twomey (chair), Petrina Donnelly and Brigid Doherty, was scheduled to furnish the Minister for Health with a report on nursing homes and Covid-19 by the end of June but it’s understood this report has yet to be delivered.

During his first appearance in the Dáil as minister yesterday, a number of TDs recalled the number of Covid-19-related deaths that have taken place in nursing homes and their views of the situation in nursing homes in general.

Social Democrat TD Roisín Shortall said:

“The Minister often talks about data and data should be driving all decision-making around this. There is now quite a body of data built up and we have many people involved in that. The problem is that most of it has been kept secret. I spent five or six weeks chasing the Department of Health to get data on the prevalence figures. It had it but it just did not produce it.

“…What is the strategy on the containment or the elimination of Covid? I heard about an outbreak in a nursing home. We are being told about potential clusters. What happens if many people come in from abroad? What is the strategy in terms of a rapid response to a threat like that? Is there a plan to target people in a specific locality or setting, such as a nursing home? What is the plan for testing and tracing? Is there a strategy to ensure we respond rapidly to any new outbreak or upsurge?”

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny said:

“I want to raise a number of issues, the first of which is the effect of Covid-19 on the nursing homes sector. I welcome the additional provision in the Revised Estimates to deal with the crisis. However, the level of death in nursing homes during the Covid pandemic is a national scandal. There is a lot of speculation as to why it happened. That question probably cannot be answered here and will have to be dealt with in a different venue. The relatives of those who passed away will want to know why their loved ones passed away in such a manner.”

Independent TD Michael Lowry said:

“The successful handling of the Covid-19 crisis in our health system required substantial money. Additional staff were brought on board quickly. It took money to do that, but it also took expert management of the situation. The driving force behind our excellent handling of the crisis was the way we managed it. The speed and urgency of the required response to the crisis demanded that it be managed with almost military precision.

“Even before the first case occurred, our hospitals were ready and intensive care beds, critical care beds and step-down beds were made available at rapid pace. Testing centres were also quickly established. The one major glitch in the system was the failure of the HSE to support the nursing home sector in a timely fashion, and we were also slow to roll out testing and contact tracing. That needs continuous upgrading as it is the principal strategy for coping with a virus that is going to remain with us.”

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said:

“Ar an gcéad dul síos, I pay tribute to all the front-line staff and the workers in all areas who did Trojan work. I sympathise with each and every family that lost loved ones. I thank RTÉ for the “RTÉ Investigates” programme last night. It was just shocking. What happened in nursing homes was unforgivable.”

Independent TD Catherine Connolly said:

I fundamentally disagree that we looked after the residents in nursing homes. We did not. I have taken every opportunity to say that because we did not, although we had ample time to do that. While I appreciate how difficult it is for the HSE, we did not put our nursing homes and residential centres at No. 1 on the list. We failed to do that and we failed to be honest about the testing regime from day one. We manipulated and we twisted and we spun.

“I ask for openness and accountability so that we can all work together.”

Independents 4 Change TD Joan Collins said:

I agree with Deputy Connolly about the nursing homes. They were not prioritised and, to a certain degree, I understand that because the HSE and NPHET were scared of its lives about what could have happened in the public hospitals because of the crisis in healthcare. That is where things went wrong, because they were focused mainly on the public hospitals and the public in general and they dropped the ball from the point of view of our nursing homes and our older people.

“We saw what happened as a consequence.”

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Previously: What Happened In The Homes?

Left To Die: Nursing Home Timeline

Sponsored Link

15 thoughts on ““I Fundamentally Disagree That We Looked After The Residents In Nursing Homes”

  1. broadbag

    Shows how much time is wasted spouting hot air ”I think less old people should have died”, ”I also think less old people should have died”, ”I think it’s shocking how many old people died!” absolute guff in the Dail, tune in tomorrow for a motion to discuss how rain is wet.

    1. No Mask On Your Face, A Big Disgrace, Spreadin Yer Germs All Over the Place

      It’s disgusting how the future entire generation of young people and so many jobs sacrificed purely to save a crowd of white old people with money. Hardly surprising though – they’ve been prioritized over the rest of us for decades.

      1. Erica Byrne

        Do you not get that those that died in the nursing homes had horrible deaths without the benefit in some cases of proper medical equipment & drugs ? Not everyone that is now old has lived a joyful life, they may have got through much of it like others best they could – either way would you like up to 15 or 25 years stripped off your life, perhaps when you reach just 50 ? Pandemic hasn’t helped your priorities … some families would rather take a hit elsewhere than lose possibly more than one person in all this. One life is a person not coming back.

    2. Fellow

      It was the pure disregard for the old the panic to clear so called bed blockers none tested before they were moved

      It was paramount to third degree murder

      Now the white wash will put paid to it
      So let’s just move on to other subjects like the world ferret down the trousers festival in Dudley Yorkshire home to ferreting

    1. Fellow

      None of them is fit for leading a country and in the opposition it’s worse

      We just need to just bite the bull it and be directly ruled by the EU and just save the money shelled out to these gobpoos.

    1. Vanessanelle


      btw, Lowry calling the HSEs/ NPETs entries in the first half of that timeline as a glitch tells you all you need to know about him and the cabal of interests he suckles from

  2. Charger Salmons

    Four posts in four hours since this was put up.
    There’s more animated discussion on here about babies being allowed in pubs.
    Is it any surprise that Varadkar has a 75% approval rating for his handling of Covid-19 and the Irish government is spared any serious assault by a supine media.
    The worst care home death figures in the world and no-one appears to give a toss.

    1. ReproBertie

      You’d better get the Winky out and self sooth a little there Spoofer. No surprise that you’re wrong again but here’s a little something from your friends in the Daily Mail.

      “Britain has Europe’s worst Covid-19 care home death toll and its fatality rate is 13 TIMES higher than Germany’s, analysis reveals. Office for National Statistics has confirmed 14,000 care home deaths so far ”


      1. Charger Salmons

        They’re ya go again Bertie.
        Not a word of criticism about Ireland’s appalling figures including the 8th worst overall Covid-19 death rate in the world but a rush to compare them to Blighty and avoiding Spain’s care home death toll which per capita is worse than the UK.
        WINKY-WOOometer 8/10
        The reality, of course, is that Irish health authorities made exactly the same mistakes as their UK and other European counterparts but you’re just loath to admit it.
        Off your knees man.

        1. ReproBertie

          No Spoofer. As usual I’m just pointing out that your anti-Ireland rhetoric is based on incorrect information. Just as when I pointed out that the Netherlands had a higher rate of infection of frontline staff when you were crowing about Ireland having the highest, it was about correcting the false information.

          In this case the UK has done a much worse job.

          I have raised questions about, and criticised, the Irish government’s handling of Covid 19 and nursing homes in several posts in the past. I see when confronted with the fact that the UK did a worse job than Ireland you are loath to admit it and instead talk about making the same mistakes and start pointing the finger at Spain. (Last time I looked, Spain and Ireland were different countries so how does that tie with your previous Ireland bashing claim?) You just can’t bring yourself to criticise your beloved teaboy Taoiseach and his puppet master.

          Perhaps you should put your winky away and get off your knees, man.

    1. Bodger

      Very welcome. Agreed, Catherine is a compassionate and effective TD and also seems lovely.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Link