'Lessons to be learned': Taoiseach admits concern over Cork school outbreak as families and staff anxious ahead of reopening 

'Lessons to be learned': Taoiseach admits concern over Cork school outbreak as families and staff anxious ahead of reopening 

Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil in Glanmire has called on the Taoiseach to implement change following a large outbreak of Covid-19 at the school.

Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil in Glanmire has called on the Taoiseach to implement change following a large outbreak of Covid-19 at the school.

It comes after 17 Covid-19 cases were identified in the school, resulting in a two-week closure.

However, it has since emerged that there has been a total of 47 Covid-19 cases identified from the initial outbreak, including parents and family members of staff and students.

When asked about the incident by The Echo, the Taoiseach admitted he was concerned with what transpired at the school.

“I have spoken to the principal in relation to that and I have concerns about what happened there," he said today. "I will be talking to public health officials in relation to that and I’ve also spoken to the attorney general and to the Minister for Health. 

“Obviously there are challenges with how public health deals with different cases in different contexts and also with a view of trying to preserve confidentiality for families. But, there are lessons to be learned from what happened in Glanmire on all fronts.

  “I’ll certainly be having discussions with the authorities in relation to what happened there.” 

Staff and parents at the school have been campaigning for information on confirmed Covid-19 cases to be immediately shared with school principals in order to help control the spread in schools.

With the school set to reopen tomorrow, Principal Siobhán Ní Chatháin is calling for changes to be made immediately in regards to the dissemination of information on confirmed cases.

“There is a sense of great disappointment that there has been nothing- no assurance has been given that there will be change,” she said.

“We have great faith in Micheál Martin. He has to show us now. The ball is in his court, he can do this.” 

Ms Ní Chatháin also said that three staff members who contracted the virus are currently not well enough to return tomorrow, noting the anxiety among many parents and family ahead of the reopening.

“They are very nervous," she said. "Its two weeks to Christmas - they all have family members, grandparents they want to see at Christmas, and they want to keep safe going home to see them at Christmas so they are nervous about that as well." 

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