July 14, 2021
Full public inquiry required for Nursing Homes – Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay North has called for a full public inquiry into deaths caused by COVID in nursing homes in order to prevent something similar happening again. 

Yesterday evening, Sinn Féin moved a motion in the Dáil which sought to ensure that the safety, protection and rights of residents in nursing homes are safeguarded and that a public inquiry is established.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday evening, Teachta Mitchell said:

“Care Champions and the Irish Association of Social Workers have led the calls for a public inquiry and we support those calls.

“Only a public inquiry will bring comfort for those residents who are still with us and for those families who have lost loved ones.

“The Covid crisis in nursing homes was made all the worse because the private system that operates the majority of nursing home provision in Ireland is too removed from the public system and the HSE, so it took too long to agree and implement a strategy.

“In many cases, older people died needlessly and the health of those who survived has deteriorated greatly. This is unforgivable.

“The experience of isolation from loved ones has caused so much hurt and harm and we will never know whether this harm can be repaired. Lessons must be learned from this.

“The legacy of the Covid nightmare in nursing homes must be one of improvement and the protection of rights. Safeguarding legislation and a new model of providing eldercare based on home care and independent living outside of congregated settings must be the future.

“The only way we can understand what happened and why so many people died and prevent something similar ever happening again in the future is through a public inquiry.

“It is the only way we can establish the facts and ensure we can change the future positively.”

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