An immediate public inquiry into the handling by the Government and NPHET of Covid-19, including an immediate investigation into nursing home deaths has been demanded by Mattie McGrath TD.
Deputy McGrath also wants an independent external audit of NPHET’s advice and modelling by auditors not otherwise engaged with the State.
“Ireland has had the longest lockdown in the world and the second highest rate of nursing home deaths, which is so sad. I put it to the Minister that of the approximately 5,000 Covid deaths in Ireland, 40% of them occurred in nursing homes. Internationally, the Republic of Ireland has the second worst rate of nursing home deaths in the world after Canada.
“I have spoken with and met nursing home staff and I have visited one or two homes by invitation. They allege that they were literally left without personal protective equipment and in some cases were left without oxygen, which they allege was taken away by the HSE. This is shocking.
We must examine this fully. I do not want an internal investigation. We must have an external, inward-looking investigation that has no commitments to any sectors in Ireland. It must be open, honest and transparent to find out if we can learn from the huge mistakes and the lack of readiness and preparedness for any kind of a pandemic. We must learn from the mistakes.