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File photo. Shutterstock/Karlo Curis

Plan to vaccinate over-85s in alternative location after fire at GP surgery in Galway this morning

Local GP Martin Daly said the fire started just before 7.30am and caused extensive damage to the building.

A GP SURGERY where staff had been due to administer over 100 Covid-19 vaccines this weekend has been destroyed in a fire. 

Several units of the fire brigade attended the scene in Ballygar this morning. 

Speaking to RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, local GP Dr Martin Daly described the incident as “very upsetting”. 

He also said that arrangements were being put in place to use the facilities at a nearby nursing home to get back up and running.

“It appears the fire started around 7.25am and took hold of the building fairly rapidly,” Dr Daly said. 

“The front building of the premises has been completely destroyed. The back part of the building has extensive smoke damage so we are really out of practice this morning and scrambling to try and get our services up and running.”

The GP said that there was no suggestion yet as to what caused the fire, but said it may have been accidental. 

Dr Daly said that patients have been discommoded as a result of the fire, but the kind offer to use a closed nursing home meant they would aim to set up their services there with “immediate effect”. 

“The challenge will be to get our IT systems in operation, but we’re hoping to resume service as quickly as we can,” he said. “We are receiving Covid vaccines on Thursday and had intended to give 104 of our over-85 patients that vaccine on Saturday. 

We intend to go ahead with that because we think it’s critically important… It is a relatively modern building and there should be no problem. So we’re working on that at the moment, and we still intend and hopefully we’ll be able to give those vaccines to our patients on Saturday.

Dr Daly added that much of the equipment on site was damaged in the fire, but that its IT infrastructure was all backed up. 

“No one was injured, and we will get up and running again,” he added. “But it is very upsetting.”

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