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21/10/2021

Thanks expressed to Buncrana Covid test centre staff

'We do not like to see them go but it is great we do not need them any longer'

Cllr Rena Donaghey with HSE Ambulance Service Members: Johnathan Kennedy, Michelle Behan, Niall McLaughlin, Andre Perich and Betrix Ward

Cllr Rena Donaghey with HSE Ambulance Service Members: Johnathan Kennedy, Michelle Behan, Niall McLaughlin, Andre Perich and Betrix Ward

Councillor Rena Donaghey has thanked the staff of Buncrana's Covid-19 test centre as they completed their time in the seaside town.

Cllr Donaghey said the HSE staff in the test centre had made a good impression on the people in Buncrana and wider Inishowen.

“So much so, that while we do not like to see them go, it is great we do not need them any longer.”

Cllr Donaghey told Inish Times she had spoken to a local GP in Buncrana back in June about the high Covid-19 numbers. I also contacted the HSE to ask for a pop-up test centre in Buncrana, at that time but the HSE said it was not warranted.

“Our Covid-19 positives were increasing day-on-day at that stage, so three days later, I went back to the HSE again and insisted that a Covid-19 test centre be set up in Buncrana, for obvious reasons. The HSE came back the next day to say it was going to put a test centre in Buncrana for five days only.

“Unfortunately, there was a necessity to keep it there for 14 weeks. It was an excellent facility for Inishowen. Letterkenny was just too far away for many, so some just would not have taken the journey. For families, possibly with no transport, Buncrana, with such a high population, was ideal. And many people who used the centre told me about the great experience they had there. The staff were so pleasant. They were exceptionally friendly and accommodating and they took time and were really, really good with children. It was really a great set-up.

“The test centre was there for 14 weeks and the staff tested more than 15,000 people, in excess of 1,000 per week. I want to thank the staff for the excellent service they provided and that sentiment is shared by the many people who used the Centre. While we did not like to see them go, it is great we do not need them any longer.”

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