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'Could we have done better? Yes, of course,' - Minister Jim Daly on nursing home Covid crisis

Minister Jim Daly is under scrutiny over despair wrought on nursing homes by Covid-19, writes Maeve Sheehan

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REGRETS: Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

REGRETS: Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

REGRETS: Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The Minister for Older People has been largely out of sight for the duration of the pandemic that has decimated the very population he represents. Jim Daly was moved off the pitch by Health Minister Simon Harris, but he insists he wasn't sidelined. 

Mr Harris took over the media to manage the message in this unprecedented "life-or-death" situation and he agreed. "I think anyone that knows me would know I'm not the kind of guy that you could tell to shut up," he says.

Mr Daly was already on the way out the door before the pandemic erupted. He had announced his retirement from politics, planned to return to family life in Clonakilty in west Cork and was clearing his ministerial desk after the election. He is still in office, if not at his actual desk. He has been "working alongside" the minister for health via emails and teleconferences.


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