Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has criticised the terms of the HSE’s leasing of the Citywest complex for an emergency isolation and step down facility saying that while the motivation was understandable, the lack of usage when there were obvious needs for those in nursing care and Direct Provision was typical of “the HSE’s ‘one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing’ approach”.

Teachta Crowe said:

“I appreciate that contingencies and plans had to be put in place for surges and spikes in COVID cases. That is only prudent. However, the leasing of the Citywest complex at a cost of at least €25 million is a flagrant waste of money. The deal stipulates a lease until the end of October at least. The Government must give notice by the end of this month if it intends not to extend the lease until the end of 2020. Will they be serving that notice I ask?

“Why was this field hospital not used for nursing home patients who were sent back to homes and carried the virus with them with tragic consequences. Why was this facility not used for those in Direct Provision who were similarly moved all around the country after exposure to the virus and put in converted small country hotels with no hope of isolation?

“There are 134 people on hospital trolleys this morning. What good is this facility if there were only 26 people across 756 rooms? This doesn’t even include the Citywest complex itself that has space for over 300 more people.

“This is typical of the HSE’s disjointed behaviour. One hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. We saw this with the deal for the private hospitals. We saw it with ‘On Call for Ireland’. And now we see it with this Citywest deal.”