The State’s lack of action in tackling coronavirus in nursing has been a “tragic failing” in the pandemic response, Dublin West TD Roderic O’Gorman said yesterday.

884 coronavirus deaths in Ireland have been nursing homes residents, equating to 55% of the total 1615 death coronavirus deaths in Ireland.

The Dáil’s Covid Committee heard yesterday that Nursing Homes Ireland had raised significant concerns with the Department of Health regarding the provision of PPE and the guidance on cases of coronavirus in nursing homes.

Speaking about the evidence, Green Party TD for Dublin West, Roderic O’Gorman said:

“It is becoming clear that the lack of protection for nursing homes was a tragic failing within the national coronavirus response plan.

“Many constituents within Dublin West have lost loved ones who were nursing home residents, and St Mary’s Nursing Home in the Phoenix Park has been particularly badly affected. My heart goes out to all those who are grieving during this pandemic.

“When more than half of coronavirus victims are in nursing homes, it is clear that something has gone badly wrong. Given we may be living with this virus for some time, public health authorities need to be clear on what they got wrong, and work to protect those living in nursing homes in the months and years ahead”.