Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin Diocese called on the HSE to urgently provide the “quality of care” residents of a Galway nursing are entitled to, after a virus outbreak was discovered.
Out of 27 residents in Nightingale Nursing Home in Ahascragh, 25 have contracted Covid-19 and one has died.
The extent of the outbreak only emerged after one resident, who had been admitted to hospital, tested positive for Covid-19.
Bishop Doran offered prayerful solidarity to the residents, staff and families “so badly affected by the outbreak”.
“I have had the privilege of meeting and praying with parishioners and staff there on previous visits to the parish,” he said. “Please be assured that all of you in Ahascragh-Caltra are in my prayers as I offer Mass this evening.”
The bishop added that, “while recognising the huge pressures that there are, I ask the HSE and public health authorities to ensure that, as a matter of urgency, these elderly people receive the quality of care that they need and are entitled to, like every other citizen”.
Dr Doran also called everyone in his diocese to reflect on their own personal responsibility during the lockdown period.
“Young or old, our lack of care or responsible behaviour can come at a very high cost for other people, especially the elderly and the sick.
As well as residents, a total of 17 employees were also infected with seven out of eight nursing staff and ten of the 11 care assistants confirmed as cases.
While some residents and staff are asymptomatic at present, an adherence to self-isolation protocols means the number of people available to work at the home has been dramatically reduced.
This morning, only the clinical nurse manager and a care assistant were able to attend for duty.