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Louth nursing home has recorded 26 deaths from Covid-19, says Sinn Féin TD

Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú said that the deaths occured at the Dealgan House Nursing Home.

Image: Shutterstock/Stokkete

TWENTY-SIX PEOPLE HAVE died in a nursing home in Louth from Covid-19, according to a Sinn Féin TD. 

Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú alleged that 26 people were believed to have died from Covid-19 at the Dealgan House Nursing Home in Louth. 

“According to figures that have been shown to me in the last few days, there have been the deaths of 26 people in this nursing home and they are believed to have died from Covid-19,” Ó Murchú said.

These are mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents. Unlike other nursing homes that have featured in the media, I have not seen official figures for the number that have died in Dealgan House. This is a feature of the lack of communication that has surrounded this issue, which has added to the worry and trauma.

He said that he had written to the Minister for Health Simon Harris about the situation.

“Operational control of Dealgan House was taken over by the RCSI Hospitals group on 17 April. In a statement to the media, the RCSI said it would review its involvement at the end of May,” Ó Murchú said. 

“Since the start of last week, I have been told by staff at Dealgan House that there will be no more RCSI staff by this coming weekend. I have been told that senior management and disease control specialists from the RCSI are already gone.”

“I have repeatedly asked the hospital group for clarity on this point and while it says it remains in control at Dealgan House, it will not say for how long and, crucially, has not outlined when and under what conditions the RCSI will hand back operational control to the owners of the nursing home,” he added. 

There have been a significant number of deaths from Covid-19 in nursing homes across the country, with questions raised about why the government didn’t respond to the crisis earlier. 

In recent weeks, staff and residents in nursing homes across the country have been receiving tests for Covid-19. 

In response, Harris said that he wanted to extended his sympathies to all the families and friends and staff in the nursing home. 

“I will have to liaise with the HSE on the specific question on the RCSI’s involvement. I know it has been playing a proactive role,” Harris said.

“The Deputy wants an assurance that the role will continue. I will revert to him directly or through the HSE on this in the coming days.  To anybody who has any concern about any long-term residential care facility, I point out that HIQA is there as a regulator,” he added. 

Last month, RTÉ reported that the RCSI Hospital Group had taken over the operational management of the nursing home. 

TheJournal.ie has contacted Dealgan House Nursing Home for comment. 

Asked about the nursing home at the Department of Health briefing this evening, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said he couldn’t comment on an individual cases. 

“There have been some nursing homes that have experienced a significant increase in both cases and some unfortunately where there has been significant mortality in single, specific locations,” he said. 

However, he said that increased testing had contributing to a slowing of the transmission rates across nursing homes. 

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