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16/10/2021

Healthcare staff salute Defence Forces personnel from Limerick as vaccination mission ends

Healthcare staff salute Defence Forces personnel from Limerick as vaccination mission ends

Lt Col Pat Murnane and Colette Cowan thanking Defence Forces personnel for their support in the vaccination programme.| PICTURES: Brian Arthur

HEALTHCARE staff in Limerick have saluted members of the Defence Forces on their last day supporting the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme across the Mid West. 

At an event to mark the occasion at Limerick Racecourse, Patrickswell Colette Cowan, CEO of UL Hospitals Group, said the vaccination teams in Limerick, Nenagh and Ennis would be “eternally grateful to the Defence Forces for their support in the vaccination programme at the three vaccination centres.

Members of the 12th Infantry Battalion from Sarsfield Barracks attended the low-key event along with HSE staff. 

“One of the things that members of the public remarked upon most often was the mere presence of the Defence Forces at the centres, which brought sharply to mind how we were all involved in an emergency response and a great national effort," said Ms Cowan.

Since the opening of the vaccination centres in the region, Defence Forces personnel have provided logistical support, managed stores and supported pharmacy services.

Lt Col Pat Murnane, Officer Commanding, 12th Infantry Battalion, said: “It is very gratifying that the Defence Forces was able to assist the HSE in the nation’s hour of need and the level of co-operation we have had with HSE staff and the relationships we have built during the pandemic will stand to us in good stead in the future should we ever need to do something like this again."

He also used the opportunity to praise his colleagues for their efforts since the beginning of the year when the vaccination programme was first rolled out.

"The fact that all of our personnel volunteered to put themselves in harm’s way with HSE staff across a wide variety of tasks from patient transfer to assistance in nursing homes to assistance in both the inoculation and testing centres, it was very gratifying to be able to assist with a 100% volunteer response.”

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