To: Minister Stephen Donnelly

Public Inquiry into COVID deaths at Dealgan Nursing Home, Dundalk

Public Inquiry into COVID deaths at Dealgan Nursing Home, Dundalk

We are calling on Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to establish an independent public inquiry into the deaths at Dealgan House.

Why is this important?

During the first Covid 19 outbreak in 2020, 23 residents in Dealgan House Nursing Home died tragically and under harrowing circumstances as a result of contracting COVID-19. This represents one of the highest incidence rates of COVID in nursing homes in Ireland at that time. The RCSI hospital group took over operational control of Dealgan House during this period. Dealgan House is the only nursing home in Ireland where this happened. We have, over the last 18 months, worked tirelessly as a collective of families to find out the circumstances surrounding the deaths of our loved ones. Our objective is to ensure safeguards, regulations and other measures are put in place to prevent the devastating events that unfolded in Dealgan House taking place again. We met with Minister Stephen Donnelly on 28th October 2020 and we put our questions to him and highlighted the importance of such an inquiry. We asked Minister Donnelly when he would respond to our call for a public inquiry into the deaths at Dealgan House. He said his response would be issued 'in weeks, not months.' Over one year later we have had no reply and no substantive reply to continued emails to the minister's office. For all of those who care about the safeguarding of the most vulnerable members of our society can we ask you to sign our petition asking for Minister Donnelly to set up an independent public inquiry into the deaths at Dealgan House. We need a mechanism where people are compelled to tell the truth about what occurred, to clarify inconsistencies and to provide learnings for the State in relation to how we care for older people in residential settings. Thank you.

Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland

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