Páirc Uí Chaoimh and City Hall being considered for use as Covid vaccination centres

Páirc Uí Chaoimh and City Hall being considered for use as Covid vaccination centres

Metal barriers erected around a public walkway beside Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork. It could be used as a vaccination centre almost a hyear after it was first used for Covid-19 testing. Pic; Larry Cummins

CORK City Hall and Páirc Uí Chaoimh are being considered by the HSE as potential sites for mass vaccination centres in Cork.

Mass centres will be charged with playing an integral part in the rollout of the vaccination nationwide, with the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly setting an initial target of this September for all the general public to receive the vaccine.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh has already successfully provided a drive-through Covid-19 testing centre for a number of months last year which had the capacity to test up to 1,000 people daily.

PRO of the Munster GAA Bob Ryan who previously served as the stadium operations manager welcomed the news that Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a possible site. 

“It makes perfect sense. It is so accessible for all. It is ideal for people driving in and out of the stadium. They could operate a drive-through under the tunnel in the South Stand. 

"They have so much actual space on level 3 they could also set up more room for vaccinating people. You could drive in one end, get the vaccine and depart out the other end. 

"The tunnel is 150 metres long. If you allow six metres for a car, you could potentially be able to get 60 or 70 people in there with ease,” he said.

Mr Ryan said he believes the Cork GAA ground which is located in Ballintemple is ideally located for both Cork city and county residents. 

“It would be accessible and ideal for people from both the city and the county. There is good access both in and out. It worked very well when it was set up for the Covid-19 testing.

 There are very few people who don’t know how to get to Páirc Uí Chaoimh. It ticks every box. The HSE are well aware of their capabilities.

“The more venues we can make available to the HSE, the better for all. We can get more people vaccinated as quickly as possible. 

"We need to get people vaccinated and get herd immunity up as soon as possible. It is a fantastic venue,” he added.

Mr Ryan also praised the response from the GAA community during Covid-19, from organising fundraisers to helping the most vulnerable members in their community. 

“They have been to the forefront throughout the pandemic. From a Munster GAA perspective, we are encouraging all GAA clubs to make available their facilities if they feel they are adequate and would be of benefit to the HSE for the mass vaccination. It reflects very well on the GAA.” 

A spokesperson for Cork City Council confirmed that Cork City Hall has been offered as a potential vaccination centre. 

“I can confirm that Cork City Council has offered the use of the City Hall campus facilities as vaccination centre but the selection of hubs is a matter for HSE. We will facilitate in any way we can to progress the rollout of the vaccination programme.”

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