As the vaccination programme ramps up across Ireland, Limerick's vaccination centre has been forced to close down to facilitate a horse racing meeting.
The Limerick vaccination centre is located at Limerick Racecourse, Patrickswell, which is set to host a scheduled flat meeting at 3pm this Saturday. This means vaccinations will be temporarily halted for Saturday, resuming on Sunday. The racecourse is currently scheduled to host four further race meets later this month and in July, meaning vaccinations could see further disruptions.
Members of the public who were due to attend the venue for vaccination appointments on Saturday were informed that their appointments had been rescheduled at other designated vaccination centres as far away as Dublin.
The Minister for Health and the Health Service Executive have been asked to provide an explanation for the decision to allow such disruption.
"This is just incredible," said Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan. "We are in the middle of a public health emergency, there has been a spike in Covid cases in Limerick over the last few weeks, yet we are closing our vaccine centre. It is farcical in the extreme that this vaccine centre will be closed to facilitate a horse meeting."
Green Party TD Brian Leddin called the decision to suspend vaccinations to accommodate horse racing "…the latest misstep in the planning of the vaccination programme in Limerick."