Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has expressed frustration at following reports that a further 52 products have been removed from the recommended list of products for use in schools, due to further safety concerns.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“I am dismayed and frustrated at this evenings reports. However, I would imagine that principals and school leaders are absolutely furious. This simply isn’t good enough.
“It is welcome that the Department is reviewing all products. This decision is a consequence of that.
“However, yet again schools are finding out very late in the day, on the Thursday before a Monday reopening, and schools will now be scrambling to find replacements. Indeed, given the range of products involved, then it may be even more difficult that it was with Virapro.
“This is a huge number of items from a list that schools were actively encouraged to buy from.
“I understand that all sanitiser providers were asked to provide product samples which were then assessed and evaluated by a team with the necessary technical competencies.
“If that happened, then how did these tests fail to identify that some products such as Virapro were actively harmful? In the case of several other products, the paperwork wasn’t in order. Does the Department have any comeback against the companies?
“Last week I raised this with the Minister in the Dáil last week, expressing my deep concern and asked her to make a statement to reassure parents and give clarity.
“I regret that she did not take the opportunity. I also wrote to the chair of the Committee seeking she attend the committee this week. She did not do so.
“The Minister must address this and answer the key questions immediately.
“The Department of Education urgently need to get a handle on Covid-19 safety measures in schools because it is falling short of the mark in several ways.”