Excluding Key Decision Makers From Covid-19 Inquiry Would Be a White Wash.
Responding to statements from the Taoiseach that key decision makers will not be called before the Covid-19 Accountability Inquiry, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has sharply criticised this move as undermining the integrity of the inquiry before it has properly begun.
An Teachta Tóibín: “Everyone knows someone who died either in a hospital or nursing home after having contracted the virus in that setting. 2,457 people died in nursing homes from Covid-19 outbreaks. Indeed, 30 people are taking cases against the HSE because their loved ones or family members passed away from Covid-19 after they contracted the virus in a hospital, a nursing home or another residential care facility . The families of people who died after contracting the virus in nursing homes or hospitals deserve answers and closure - a full scale public investigation would afford them that opportunity. The announcement by the Taoiseach that NPHET Chief Tony Holohan, or HSE CEO Paul Reid, and other officials will not testify before the inquiry undermines the very integrity of the inquiry and imposes a ceiling on accountability for the decisions made.”
“Nursing homes were Ground Zero of the Irish fight against Covid-19. More than 21,936 people in nursing homes contracted the virus. Nursing Homes (NH) were told to remain open to visitors after they had closed their doors. 10,000 plus patients were ordered into Nursing Homes from hospitals – without being tested for Covid-19. Nursing homes were raided for staff and PPE to go to hospitals, leaving Nursing Homes dangerously exposed and understaffed. Families in some areas struggled to get any update from the hospital on their loved ones' conditions. Nurses and nursing home managers were taking to social media begging for assistance, as staffing support from the HSE was not forthcoming on far too many occasions”.
“Many people with life threatening illnesses such as Cancer, Heart Disease, Stroke and Mental Health had diagnosis and treatment removed from them for 2 solid years. This has led to an significant increase in more advanced life threatening illnesses and in some cases deaths. Shockingly during this whole period there was a refusal to add significant ICU and Hospital capacity. Indeed the Minister for Health sough to close ICU beds during this time. From the outset, the government and HSE have stonewalled attempts to investigate their failings, and now are looking to undermine the investigation before it even begins. No accountability once again in official Ireland.”