'A tragedy in our community' Minister Charlie Flanagan on the Covid-19 deaths in Portlaoise unit

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

St Fintan's Campus where the Maryborough Centre is located.

St Fintan's Campus where the Maryborough Centre is located.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has issued a statement on the deaths of nine people in a weekend at a Laois mental health unit, eight of whom had Covid-19.

Nine die in Portlaoise mental health unit over Easter weekend

The Minister who is from Laois said "this is a tragedy in our community".

“I would like to offer my sincere sympathies with the families of the deceased, some of whom I known personally, and with the hardworking & dedicated team at the unit.

"This was a heart-breaking experience for everybody concerned and underlines the devastating effect of the Covid-19 virus," he said.

Minister Flanagan said he has already spoken with the Minister for Health about it, and wants everything possible to be done for staff and residents.

"On becoming aware of the developments over Easter weekend, I spoke directly with Simon Harris the Minister for Health, the Mental Health Commission, Senior Medics in the region  as well as HSE Officials.

"My concern was and remains that everything that could be done was and is being done for staff and residents and that best practice & advice is at all times followed and observed," he said this Thursday April 16.