News & Media

Answers needed on delay in recalling hand sanitiser

23 October 2020

Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education, Enterprise and Trade
Aodhan
  • Audit needed of all the products used in schools and system that verifies that they are safe
  • Issuing a press release at 11pm effectively closing affected schools is not acceptable

Labour Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said an explanation is needed on why it took the Department of Education three days to recall Vira Pro Sanitiser after the approval for the product was revoked on Tuesday, but it was not announced until late last night.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“The way this has been handled is disgraceful and shambolic, issuing a statement from the Department of Education late Thursday evening informing the media before school management, and teachers not acceptable and disrespectful to school management who were merely told they told to remove any of the recalled product and that they could close early if they chose. This is no way to deal with school management.

“If the product was deemed unsafe on Tuesday then we need an explanation as to why it took the Department until Thursday evening to issue a recall notice which is effectively too late for school management to put in place contingency plans or to arrange to have the product withdrawn in a timely manner.

“Minister Foley and the Department need to commission an urgent safety audit all of the products used in schools to ensure they are safe and this does not occur again and more importantly she needs to begin an audit of the systems that verifies that these products are safe.

“There is heightened anxiety amongst the school community now and we need clarity on why it took the Department two days to recall this product. Issuing a statement at 11pm at night effectively closing affected schools is not acceptable. While I understand and appreciate that the Department are trying to act decisively, this is not the first time they have issued press releases late at night or on a Friday evening leaving school management scrambling to pick up the pieces.