Meat industry rep to appear before Covid-19 Oireachtas committee

The Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response will resume discussions on both education and the prevalence of clusters of Covid-19 in the meat plant sector when it meets tomorrow morning, Friday July 10, in Leinster House.

TDs will discuss the re-opening of school with officials from the Department of Education and Skills at its first meeting.

The committee is dedicating two sessions in the afternoon to issues in the meat plant sector.

The schedule is as follows:
  • Officials from the Department of Education and Skills will attend the first meeting at 9:30am;
  • Migrant Rights Centre Ireland director Edel McGinley will discuss meat plants at 12:00pm;
  • Meat Industry Ireland (MII) senior director Cormac Healy will appear before the third meeting at 2:30pm.

Speaking before the meeting, committee chairman Michael McNamara said:

“We welcome officials from the Department of Education to provide clarification and further detail on issues raised by representatives of parents and staff at previous sessions, including issues around transport, funding and staffing.

“Separately, we know that a significant number of Covid-19 outbreaks, and infections to date, were recorded in meat plants.

Members of the committee want to explore the reasons such a high proportion of Covid-19 clusters occurred in meat plants and the improvements now in place to ensure a safe working environment for workers.

“The committee welcomes this opportunity to hear the experiences of staff working in this industry and from meat processors on the controls and measures put in place to curb the further spread of the virus in this sector,” deputy McNamara concluded.

The witnesses will appear in the Dáil chamber and by video link tomorrow.