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“Fully Independent and Public Investigation Needed into Government’s Handling of Virus in Nursing Homes and Hospitals” - Tóibín



The Minister for Health has confirmed to the Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD, on foot of a parliamentary question, that a total of sixteen individuals are taking cases against the HSE after their loved ones died with Covid-19 having contracted the virus in either a HSE-run nursing home or hospital.


Speaking in reaction to the statistics released to him, Deputy Tóibín said:


"Everyone knows someone who died either in a hospital or nursing home after having contracted the virus in that setting. We're all familiar with tragic cases, maybe where an elderly person was brought to A & E having suffered a minor fall, only to contract the virus while in hospital and pass away in the ensuing days. These situations were incredibly distressing for the families involved, who in many cases received limited communication from the hospital due to staffing shortages, and little to no visitation hours. In cases of Covid deaths, coffins were to be kept closed, further restrictions dictated the number of mourners allowed at funerals - with many sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, being left outside in the cold as their mother or father's funeral mass was said”.


Deputy Tóibín continued: "The government's refusal to hold a public inquiry into their handling of Covid-19 in nursing homes and hospitals is shameful, but hardly surprising. At the start of the pandemic nursing homes were severely neglected, with shortages of oxygen, PPE and staff reported by many. The Health Minister at the time repeatedly ignored requests for meetings from the CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland”.


“The government, NPHET and the HSE have serious questions to answer. In cases of outbreaks among staff in nursing homes or hospitals, management in some instances were left crying out via local radio or social media looking for volunteers to support them. All the while the 'Be on Call for Ireland' recruitment campaign launched by Simon Harris had resulted in a 70,000 strong database of healthcare workers and professionals ready to work, but only 300 of these were actually recruited. It looks at this stage as though individuals and grieving families are being forced to take the legal route in order to shame the government into holding an investigation. Someday the true facts will be brought to light. The families affected by the scandal deserve nothing short of full transparency. We in Aontú are calling for a fully independent public investigation, because we believe it to be the only way the truth can be properly ascertained", concluded Deputy Tóibín.




For Written Answer on : 27/07/2021
Question Number(s)2279,1598 Question Reference(s): 37223/21, 34475/21
Department: Health
Asked by: Peadar Tóibín T.D.


* To ask the Minister for Health the number of persons and families who have taken cases, issued letters of claim and initiated proceedings against the HSE regarding the death of a loved one who died having contracted Covid-19 in a HSE-run nursing home, residential care facility or hospital.

- Peadar Tóibín T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 27 July, 2021.

* To ask the Minister for Health the number of claims made and proceedings initiated against the HSE or hospital groups by persons or groups of persons whose loved ones died after contracting Covid-19 in a hospital setting.

- Peadar Tóibín T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 27 July, 2021.


The State Claims Agency (SCA) has a statutory remit to manage personal injury claims on behalf of Delegated State Authorities including the Health Service Executive. I have been informed by the SCA that the information contained below was extracted from the National Incident Management System (NIMS) according to the below criteria:

• The explicit reference to ”hospitals”, “nursing homes” or “residential care facility” is interpreted as claims notified to the SCA against the HSE which relate to incidents occurring within a nursing home, hospital or a community health organisation location/unit.

• Claims arising could relate to the death of a service user or staff member.

The number of claims against the HSE, notified to the SCA, which relate to the death of a family member/dependent as a result of contracting Covid-19 in a Nursing Home, healthcare facility or hospital setting is 16. Each claim relates to a single death of a family member/dependent.

By Aontú Press | 16 August, 2021

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