Sinn Féin TD for Kildare North Réada Cronin has called for a forensic and detailed inquiry into why nursing home deaths appear to have been particularly high in Kildare.
Teachta Cronin said:
“I am horrified by the Coroner’s report on nursing-home deaths in Kildare. I thank him for the public compassion and concern he showed towards those who died and for the public dignity he afforded them and their families.
“My heart goes out to the people who died and to their families. I have been raising this issue in the Dáil repeatedly, and to little or no public response. What does that say about our attitude to our elderly?
“In July, the HSE confirmed to me that neither they, nor the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, collected testing data on the 67 patients transferred from hospitals to nursing homes in North Kildare.
“I was horrified at the time and I am horrified now that these vulnerable people were treated like this. Transferring them to nursing homes without testing data is like throwing a lighting match into a petrol tank.
“I cannot understand the cool way the deaths of our elderly in nursing homes appears to have been accepted by some sections of society. This is not an issue which we can be blasé about. Our elderly have rights and deserve to live with dignity and respect.
“Every death is a tragedy which leaves behind heart-broken families. In many cases, people who died from Covid-19 died painful deaths, frightened and alone. Their families deserve answers. I will continue to fight to ensure they get those answers.
“I have already called for a Scally-type inquiry into our nursing-home deaths and am calling for a separate, forensic and swift response to the situation in Kildare.”