At the conclusion of Module 2C of the Covid-19 Inquiry in Belfast, as a core participant, The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland has delivered a closing written submission. 

The purpose of this written closing is to develop points made in the oral closing and highlight some of what the evidence has shown in relation to two principal issues: the apparent absence of any consideration of section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 in planning and decision-making; and the areas for improvement.

The written submission concluded in summary, The Commissioner was hoping that the evidence in this Module would provide answers and an understanding of how and why older people, and many vulnerable others, were so badly failed by the Northern Ireland government’s response to the pandemic. Regrettably the answer to the ‘how’ question is deeply depressing and concerning, whilst the ‘why’ question has not been properly answered.

In the Commissioner’s view it will need to be not least to build the public’s trust and confidence in the government’s ability to adequately respond to the next pandemic so that their lives are protected. The evidence heard has done little to start that process. But it must happen as without such trust and confidence, the public may not respond with the necessary compliance to whatever measures are considered necessary and that will be to the detriment of everyone.

You can read the Commissioners full closing submission here

Read more about the Covid-19 Inquiry