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‘It was horrendous… straight after Daddy’s funeral we had to go to a Covid test centre and then isolate for 14 days’

Dominic McNally was one of 23 people from Dealgan House Nursing Home in Dundalk, Co Louth, who lost their lives during the first wave of the pandemic

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The late Dominic McNally with his daughter

The late Dominic McNally with his daughter

The late Dominic McNally with his daughter

DOMINIC McNally (80) was a father-of-six and one-time prize-winning runner.

He is one of 23 people from Dealgan House Nursing Home in Dundalk, Co Louth, who lost their lives during the first wave of the pandemic.

On April 16, 2020, his daughter Vivienne spent the evening keeping vigil at his bedside. She left at 8.30pm with the intention of returning the next morning, but Mr McNally sadly passed away at 1am.

“It was horrendous,” said Vivienne.

“We had the burial for Daddy on the Monday and we had to have the service in the graveyard. His sons couldn’t carry his coffin and we had to stand at a social distance. No one could come near us.

"Straight after Daddy’s funeral we had to go to a Covid-19 test centre and then isolate for 14 days. We had the grief of losing our father and on top of that, we had the worry of having Covid.”

The Royal College of Surgeons hospital group took over the management of Dealgan House Nursing Home on the day Mr McNally died. Relatives who lost loved ones have been campaigning for a public inquiry into what happened at the nursing home.

"It’s coming up to the second anniversary of their deaths,” said Vivienne. They all died within the space of a few weeks. That alone should be a sign that we need an inquiry.”

She says that the grief never goes away, regardless of whether there is an approaching anniversary.

"It doesn’t get any easier, especially when you have no answers almost two years on. We will not stop fighting for the truth.”

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