Tag Archives: Department of Health



Department of Health, Baggott Street, Dublin 2.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett (middle pic centre) joined protesters from the Campaign for an All- Ireland National Health Service (CAINHS) which was launched last month and who held a National Day of Action yesterday.

Yesterday: The Cost Of Going Private

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

From top: Latest update on the Department of Health’s Covid-19 dashboard; Dublin Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane

This morning.

The latest Department of Health figures show that, as of April 15, there were 444 Covid-19 deaths in Ireland, 290 associated with residential settings, including 245 in nursing homes.

Last week, the department confirmed that when calculating its death toll, the department counts “any death that involves a positive Covid-19 test” and any person whose remains test positive for Covid-19 during a post-mortem.

This would appear to suggest that any person who has tested positive for Covid-19 will be listed as having died from Covid-19 regardless of the actual cause of death

Further to this…

This morning Paul Cullen reports in The Irish Times that the Dublin Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane has warned that “not all Covid-19 deaths are being reported as required by law“.

Mr Cullen reports:

…Dr Myra Cullinane has written to medical staff in hospitals and other locations who are responsible for completing death certificates saying they must comply with the requirement to report “any death in the context of proven or suspected” Covid-19 to her office.

Her warning comes amid concern over possible under-reporting of deaths from the virus, particularly outside hospitals. Analyses of online death notices in recent weeks have suggested a level of excess mortality not captured in official figures.

…In her letter, Dr Cullinane reminds medical staff of the requirement under the Coroners Acts to report virus deaths. She adds: “It has been drawn to my attention that such reporting is not taking place in all cases.”

Meanwhile, earlier on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland

Broadcaster Dr Gavin Jennings asked Dr Siobhán Ní Bhriain, National Lead for Integrated Care with the HSE, if she’s “sure that all deaths for Covid-19 or suspected in care centres and in nursing homes are being reported as Covid-19 deaths“.

Ms Ní Bhriain replied:

I couldn’t say with absolute certainty, Gavin, that they are being reported as such. I do, we do wonder, if at the early stages of the disease, when we didn’t suspect it was Covid, there may have been a couple of deaths that occurred early that would not have been typically Covid in terms of symptoms.

“But we have a review system in place to look back over all those deaths reporting, that were reported. And we will be reviewing that.”

Listen back to the interview in full here

Some Covid-19 deaths are not being reported, coroner warns (Paul Cullen, The Irish Times)

Related: 881 patients in acute hospitals with Covid-19, 448 suspected cases (RTÉ)

Previously: Counting ‘Every Death’ That ‘Involves A Positive COVID-19 Test’


More than nine in 10 people [in the UK] dying with coronavirus have an underlying health condition, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The ONS looked at nearly 4,000 deaths during March in England and Wales where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate.

In 91% of cases the individuals had other health problems.

The most common was heart disease, followed by dementia and respiratory illness.

On average, people dying also had roughly three other health conditions.

Coronavirus: Nine in 10 dying have existing illness (BBC)


At the Department of Health’s latest press conference on the coronavirus.

A female journalist asked about the Irish Association of Funeral Directors announcing this morning that funeral services for people who die due to the coronavirus should be postponed and that the deceased should be immediately cremated or buried…

Dr John Cuddihy, director of the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre, answered the question by saying guidelines will be on the HSE website tomorrow.

However the department’s chief medical officer Tony Holohon, who was sitting beside Dr Cuddihy, was caught on his microphone telling Dr Cuddihy to tell the journalist that he didn’t agree with the IAFD’s recommendation.

This was the exchange:

Journalist: “I’m conscious that this is an uncomfortable question to ask but I think it’s an important one. The Irish Association of Funeral Directors advised its members that victims of the coronavirus, should we be unfortunate enough to have one, should be immediately cremated and funerals held at a later date, is that really a necessary measure?”

Tony Holohon: “John.”

Dr John Cuddihy: “Just to say that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre have general guidance for these measures and we’re updating them currently for the Covid-19 and we will have those on our website tomorrow. We’ve also made contact with the Irish Funeral Directors’ Association [sic] to let them know that they will be available.

“So we will liaise with them and make sure that the guidance are proportionate.”

Holohan [whispers]: “Tell them you don’t agree.”

Cuddihy: “Well, I would think that the measures that you’ve described are not necessary…”

Holohan: “Not necessary.”

Cuddihy: “…and when we produce the guidelines tomorrow, that that will be evident.”


This evening.

The Department of Health has announced that ten new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed bringing the total in the Republic of Ireland to 34.

RTÉ reports:

Five of these new cases are associated with travel from an affected area. Three of those are males in the south of the country.

One male and one female in the east of the country also associated with travel from an affected area.

Three of those 10 new cases are associated with close contact with a confirmed case – a male and female in the west and a female in the south of the country.

Two of the new cases are healthcare workers – one male in the south associated with hospital transmission and one female in the east, possibly due to hospital transmission.

With 16 cases also in Northern Ireland, there are now 50 cases on the island of Ireland.

10 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Republic (RTÉ)

Above from left: Kate O’Flaherty, Head of Health and Wellbeing at the Deprtment of Health Ipsos MRBI’s Kieron O’ Leary,  and Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health

Get up.


This afternoon.

Department of Health HQ, Dublin

The launch of the Healthy Ireland Survey 2019 by Ipsos MRBI’ which questioned nearly 7,500 people – aged 15 and older, and shows…

…that while overweight and obesity in men has dropped slightly since 2017 (from 70% to 66%), overall figures show that 60% of those surveyed were found to be overweight or obese, with just 37% of adults having a normal weight…

*swallows entire doughnut*

165,000 decrease in people smoking over last five years – survey (RTÉ)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

Outside the office of the Department of Health on Baggot Street in Dublin this morning

Paul Reynolds, of RTE, reports:

The Department of Health in Dublin has been evacuated after it received a suspicious package this morning.

The package is suspected to contain a white powder and precautions are being taken in case it may be hazardous material.

Gardaí have sealed off the area around Baggot Street. Emergency services were called to the department’s building at 11.25am.


Department of Health evacuated due to suspicious package delivery (RTE)

Pics: Fiachra O Cionnaith