Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response

Examination of HIQA Report on the Impact of Covid-19 on Nursing Homes in Ireland

Photo of Michael McNamaraMichael McNamara (Clare, Independent)
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Good morning. We have been notified that Deputies Devlin, Pádraig O'Sullivan, Murnane O'Connor, Durkan, Hourigan, Brady, Canney and Ó Murchú will substitute for their party colleagues today. I welcome the witnesses from HIQA who are joining us to discuss the HIQA report on the impact of Covid-19 on nursing homes in Ireland. We are joined by the CEO, Mr. Phelim Quinn, the chief inspector and director of regulation, Ms Mary Dunnion, and the deputy chief inspector for social services, Ms Susan Cliffe.

I wish to advise the witnesses that by virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, they are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence to this committee. However, if they are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence on a particular matter they must respect that direction. They are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise nor make charges against any person, persons or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable.

I invite Mr. Quinn to make his opening statement. I wish to explain to the witnesses that it took a little longer than anticipated to get a quorum because we brought the meeting forward in anticipation of votes in the Dáil later in the national convention centre. I apologise to Mr. Quinn and his colleagues for the slight delay in getting under way this morning.