Sláintecare ‘resistance’

Health officials have said that claims there is resistance to the Sláintecare programme are untrue.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and the secretary general of the Department of Health, Robert Watt appeared before the Oireachtas health committee earlier today, facing questions regarding the plans to reform the healthcare system.

Mr Donnelly said the Government remains committed to the Sláintecare programme despite recent controversies and confirmed a new structure will be created to replace the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council (SIAC), which will be co-chaired by Mr Watt and HSE chief executive, Paul Reid

Escaped prisoner

A convicted drug dealer has escaped from an open prison in Co Cavan.

The Dubliner, who has been in jail for over 10 years on drug and firearm offences, absconded from Loughan House on Monday.

It is understood the was facing being transferred to a closed prison for breaching the facility’s rules and Gardaí have been informed of the matter.

Maternity protest

A protest has been held outside Leinster House calling for an end to ongoing restrictions on partner visits in maternity wards.

More than 100 people including pregnant women, new mothers and families gathered outside the Dáil on Wednesday afternoon, calling for partner access in neo natal units to be restored to pre-pandemic levels.

Several TDs and Senators from all political parties attended the March for Maternity to offer their support, while those worst impacted by the regulations told their personal stories.

Humphreys apology

The acting Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys has apologised to the family of journalist Dara Quigley for the circumstances surrounding her death.

Ms Quigley took her own life in 2017 after CCTV footage of her naked and in a state of distress were leaked by gardaí.

Ms Humphreys said the sharing of the images “should not have happened”, following a similar apology from Garda Commissioner Drew Harris who said the incident was an “unacceptable breach of trust”.

Weather warnings

Yellow rain warnings will be in place across a number of counties over the next few days.

A warning for Cork and Kerry will come into effect at midday on Thursday and will remain in place until 3am on Saturday.

A second status yellow rain warning has been issued for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo, which will be in place from 12am on Thursday until 3am on Saturday.

Covid figures

The Department of Health has confirmed 984 additional cases of Covid-19.

As of 8am on Wednesday, there are 343 people with the virus in hospital, 70 of whom are being treated in intensive care.

The department also confirmed there has been a total of 5,280 Covid-related deaths notified since the onset on the pandemic here, including 31 newly notified deaths in the past seven days.

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