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Sinn Fein TD apologises after falsely claiming 17 people died in one nursing home

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Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis. Photo: Tom Burke

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis. Photo: Tom Burke

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis. Photo: Tom Burke

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis has been forced to apologise after incorrectly claiming 17 people died in one nursing home.

In a statement issued by Sinn Féin, Mr Ellis claimed the deaths required “urgent attention” and called for a consultant led team to oversee the nursing home’s response to the virus.

The Dublin North West TD said the 17 deaths had caused “massive shock to the local community and to families in the area”. “This is a terrible situation and my deepest sympathies are with all those affected,” he said.

"There also needs to be clinical interventions made, and I am calling for a team - led by a consultant geriatrician - to be appointed,” he added.

Mr Ellis named the Finglas based nursing home in his statement.

However, not along after it was issued Sinn Fein sent out a retraction and an apology to the nursing home.

“Please disregard the previous statement by Dessie Ellis TD,” it said.

“This statement was made in good faith, but having received clarification, the figure quoted in this statement refers to the cumulative nursing homes in the Finglas area – not one,” it added.

The party apologised to the nursing home and to media outlets which published Mr Ellis’s comment.

A Sinn Fein source said: “Dessie just got his facts wrong.”

It is understood Mr Ellis based his statement on information he had received locally in his constituency.

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