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22 Jan 2022

HSE chiefs facing mounting calls to close Longford Covid-19 test centre

Claims only 'five to seven' tests being carried out daily at Connolly Barracks

Covid-19 testing to begin in Longford's Connolly Barracks

The drive-thru testing facility at Connolly Barracks

HSE chiefs are coming under mounting pressure to close Connolly Barracks as a Covid-19 drive thru test centre amid claims as few as five examinations are taking place at the facility on a daily basis.

It comes less than 24 hours after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced plans to fast-track Ireland's exit from Covid-19 lockdown.

Drumlish based County Councillor Paraic Brady, who sits on the HSE' Dublin Mid Leinster Health Forum made the claim this week barely seven weeks after the facility was turned into a designated test centre.

"Based on the figures (tests), I just don't see a need for it now," argued the Fine Gael representative.

A statement from the HSE issued to the Leader appeared to downplay any talk of the barracks being closed, insisting its position "remained the same" with testing being "rotated weekly between Westmeath and Longford."

Cllr Brady laughed off those assertions however and called on health officials to review their stance in the interests of public finances.

"It's (testing) rotated from week to week," replied a puzzled Cllr Brady.

"At the end of the day its taxpayers money which is paying for this," he said.

"With restrictions being lifted and unless there is a spike in cases, it makes sense to close it."

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