Opposition calls for Taoiseach to take control of vaccine rollout from 'out of depth' Health Minister

ireland
Opposition Calls For Taoiseach To Take Control Of Vaccine Rollout From 'Out Of Depth' Health Minister
The Government had set a deadline of today for getting the quarantine hotel system up and running. Yet, Mr Donnelly has now said he is still unable to definitively state when that will happen. (Julien Behal Photography/PA), © PA Media
Share this article

Digital Desk Staff

Taoiseach Micheál Martin must intervene and take control of the vaccine rollout because Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is “asleep at the wheel” and “out of his depth", the Opposition has said.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the Government had set a deadline of today for getting the quarantine hotel system up and running. Yet, Mr Donnelly has now said he is still unable to definitively state when that will happen.

It is now 10 weeks since the Government promised it would introduce it and two weeks after the legislation was passed by the Dáil.

The Health Minister said contracts with a hotel provider are not yet signed.

“I don't have an exact date but, but very soon,” Mr Donnelly said about the matter on Monday.

“We're getting very close. We're in the final talks with a single provider who has multiple hotels and will be managing the end-to-end process. The contracts will be signed very shortly,” Mr Donnelly said.

Slow pace

Advertisement

“Once that's done, we were planning on putting the booking system up online very quickly. Once the booking system has been online just for a few days, it will be up and running,” he added.

Sinn Féin’s health spokesman David Cullinane called on Mr Martin to take charge of the vaccine rollout, saying evidence in recent weeks has shown Mr Donnelly is not up to it.

“Clearly, Stephen Donnelly is out of his depth. I think Stephen Donnelly needs to step up to the plate and I would ask that the Taoiseach would step in and take control of the vaccine rollout.

“It is completely unacceptable that we've had all of the problems that we have had,” Mr Cullinane said.

The Government has been severely criticised over the slow pace in establishing its quarantine system and the lack of preparedness, despite public health officials calling for such a system as far back as last May.

In total, 11,800 people flew into Dublin Airport last week as the country continues its battle with coronavirus. That is up 2 per cent on the previous seven days.

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2021, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com