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05 Oct 2022

Lives lost to Covid-19 remembered at remembrance events in Dundalk

Events organised by Louth County Council and Care Champions

Lives lost to Covid-19 remembered at remembrance events in Dundalk

Cllr Antóin Watters and Ruairí Ó Murchú TD at the event at the courthouse on Sunday

A Ceremony of Remembrance and Reflection took place in front of the courthouse in Dundalk last Sunday to remember the lives lost in Louth during the Covid-19 pandemic. The event was organised by Louth County Council and saw a ceremony taking place in Dundalk and Drogheda. The event was attended, among others, by public representatives from a local, national level and EU level, and saw wreaths being laid to remember those lost.

It was one of a number of remembrance events that took place nationwide on Sunday 20 March, with the main event being held in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin on Sunday afternoon.

A separate ceremony also took place in Dundalk last Friday afternoon, where families of residents who passed away in nursing homes and care settings, gathered to hold a candle lighting ceremony. The event was a family led event, organised by Care Champions, a group which describes itself as a “family run advocacy group, for all people who need care support in the community”.

The events on Friday and Sunday were attended by Ruairí Ó Murchú TD. Commenting following the events, Deputy Ó Murchú said that the events “should not draw a line in the sand, but should reignite the desire to learn from the pandemic”.

He said: “the Dealgan families have been at the forefront of the campaign to have a public inquiry into what happened in nursing homes during the pandemic, particularly in the early months of Covid 19. I have been supporting them in their call for a specific inquiry into what happened in this nursing home, where 23 people lost their lives, many in dreadful circumstances.

‘Along with Care Champions, the Dealgan families organsied a poignant and dignified ceremony at Courthouse Square on Friday to remember their loved ones. As they said themselves, it was the only day in the last two years that they were not campaigning for answers. The families, like the ones who lost relatives in Dealgan House, have, for two years, been asking questions, hunting for answers, as to what happened to their loved ones and why.

‘All the work they have done has been carried out while grieving a much-loved relative. The government has told them time after time there will be a ‘mechanism’ by which these answers will be provided, but it has not been forthcoming. Cllr Ó Murchú added that the only “proper way” to get the answers is “through a public inquiry”.

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