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Nazareth questions must be answered

The death of six elderly residents at the Nazareth Nursing Home in Donegal is every family's worst nightmare.

Having entrusted the care of one's loved ones to a nursing home only to have them die from what it now seems was influenza must be utterly heartbreaking for the families of the deceased.

While, unlike other nursing homes to have come to public attention in recent years, the Nazareth seems to have been a well-run institution scoring well in HIQA inspections, important questions remain to be answered.

Chief among these is the apparently inexplicable delay in notifying the HSE of the outbreak.

If early reports are to be believed, it took up to 10 days from the first death for the HSE to be made aware of the outbreak.

If this is in fact the case, then we need to know the reasons for the delay. Could earlier disclosure have prevented some of the Nazareth deaths?

The bereaved deserve answers.

In the meantime we wish to express our sympathy to the families and friends of the deceased Nazareth residents.

Their grief must not be compounded by any unnecessary delays in unearthing the full truth behind this tragedy.