In response to the new information contained in Freedom of Information documents from the HSE, Dundalk TD Ruairí Ó Murchú said it was clear “that Dealgan House Nursing Home was absolutely overwhelmed and residents were suffering.”
The Sinn Féin representative said the release of information from the HSE was “by far the most detailed information received by families of those who died in Dealgan” about what was happening inside the nursing home before it was taken over by the RCSI Hospital Group.
Deputy Ó Murchú described the information as “deeply sad and distressing for families to read”, but said it “can only strengthen the already widespread calls for a public inquiry.”
He said: “This information is released thanks to the persistence of family members who are tenacious and courageous in their efforts to get to the truth.
“It comes at a time when there are hundreds of new cases of Covid-19 in the community across the island and already, further outbreaks in nursing homes in the State.
“The Freedom of Information release shows how health authorities, at high levels, were aware of what was happening in Dealgan House and were struggling to respond.
“No matter what else happens from now on, the HSE, HIQA and the Department of Health have to learn, and learn fast, from what happened at places like Dealgan House to ensure that no other family of a nursing home resident goes through what the Dundalk families went through and are still enduring.
“We have been with them from the start of this process and we are determined to see their wish for a public inquiry fulfilled. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and his predecessor, Simon Harris, have said the Dealgan families need answers to their questions.
“This latest release of information lays bare not only the scandalous and horrifying situation at Dealgan House at the beginning of April but also the State response to it.
“Now, more than ever, the government needs to step up and give them what the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response last week recommended – a public inquiry into what happened in nursing homes and the State response.”