Covid-19: Residents fully vaccinated at hard-hit Dundalk care home

Death toll of 23 at Dealgan House in Dundalk, Co Louth, last April triggered RCSI takeover

Dealgan House  resident Kathleen McEneaney:  delighted to get the final jab from the vaccination team.

Dealgan House resident Kathleen McEneaney: delighted to get the final jab from the vaccination team.

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All residents at a nursing home that suffered one of the worst outbreaks during the first wave of coronavirus have been vaccinated fully.

The privately run Dealgan House in Dundalk, Co Louth, was taken over by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) for a time last April after 23 residents died.

Relatives of some had called for an inquiry and were to meet HSE chief executive Paul Reid this year about their concerns.

On Saturday it was announced all residents and staff had received their second and final dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Resident Kathleen McEneaney from Dundalk said she was delighted to get the final jab from the vaccination team.

Kathleen McEneaney characterised the vaccination team as ‘lovely people who put me at ease straight away’.
Kathleen McEneaney characterised the vaccination team as ‘lovely people who put me at ease straight away’.

“They were lovely people who put me at ease straight away,” she said. Ms McEneany added that she misses seeing her family face-to-face and hopes the vaccinations will soon allow visits to resume.

No residents were affected during another outbreak among staff at the home last month. Management say residents have been Covid free since last May.

Nursing home chief executive Eoin Farrelly described the last few months as “hugely worrying” given high transmission rates. “We are just hoping now that we, in Dealgan House, have seen the back of this dreadful disease.”

Deputy director of nursing Dolores Conroy expressed “relief and delight” that all residents had been vaccinated fully and hoped life for them would soon return to “normal”.

The nursing home was taken over temporarily by the RCSI on April 17th last year before being returned to a private operation in mid-May.

Family members of some who died had raised concerns about communications by the nursing home during the outbreak, information provided to the State’s health service regulator and actions taken on foot of that, along with the general oversight and responsibility for the private nursing home.

The Department of Health said it would await the outcome of a meeting between families and Mr Reid before deciding on whether any action was needed.

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