Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has urged all schools to check their hand sanitiser after it emerged late last night that some stock from ViraPro was contaminated with methanol which can lead to severe skin and eye irritation.

Teachta Crowe said:

“It is very important that all schools check their hand sanitiser stocks and remove any ViraPro sanitiser with the batch number PCS 100409. This number is found on the back of the bottle next to the barcode. The product contains methanol instead of the required ethanol and can lead to severe skin and eye irritation and upper respiratory difficulty if used for prolonged periods.

“I would also advise anyone that may have bought ViraPro for personal use to check and make sure it is safe to use.

“I am extremely disappointed with how the Government have handled this. The Department of Agriculture discovered this problem on Tuesday but it was almost midnight last night Thursday before the announcement was made.

“When my colleague Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire called for Minister for Education Norma Foley to make a statement to the Dáil last night, she turned on her heel and left rather than answer questions on the extent of the problem and what she would be doing to ensure that schools were provided with adequate replacement stock.

“Many schools opened today unsure about what to do. This latest government cock up means that teachers, pupils, and other support staff have been put at additional and unnecessary risk.”