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Councillor demands action as deaths rocket

by Jimmy Rhatigan

Today, Tuesday, Independent local news website Kilkenny Press brings readers yet more alarming pandemic statistics of spikes in deaths in our city and county.

The latest frightening figures should today be headlines in national newspapers, radio and television and on local papers and local radio.

For whatever reasons, there is a suppression of coverage.

Sadly, today’s news is shattering.

Accountant Patrick Walsh of Thomastown told Kilkenny Press that sudden/unexpected deaths continued to show a dramatic increase as more and more families mourn the loss of loved ones. 

“Has there ever been anything like the carnage that we are now experiencing,” he asked as he outlined the heartbreak of the first 19 days of December 2022 and compared like with like in years 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The figures make horrific reading.

2019: 38 deaths (4 sudden/unexpected); pre Covid he described as the old normal.

2020: 47 deaths (5 sudden). This was at the height of the pandemic and lockdowns.

2021: 44 deaths (5 sudden).

2022: 79 deaths (12 sudden). Seventy nine is well over 100% higher than 2019 and over 66% higher than 2020 at the height of the lockdown/pandemic.

Kilkenny Press publishes these figures not to scare urban and rural families but to highlight yet another huge leap in local deaths that we believe should be investigated immediately.

As his conscience and the health of local people troubled him, Patrick Walsh revealed that sudden/unexpected and overall deaths were rapidly increasing in Kilkenny City and in towns and villages throughout the county as he believed that people deserved to be enlightened.

“This is a matter of life and death,” he told Kilkenny Press when he first publicly expressed his anxiety about a public health conundrum.

When he contacted all local media and all 24 county councillors with what he described as scary figures there was a deafening silence with three only local public representatives responding.

Local media turned its back with Community Radio Kilkenny City only grasping the nettle by interviewing Patrick Walsh and Kilkenny Press editor Jimmy Rhatigan after his news website broke the story.

Councillor Andrew McGuinness expressed concern when he contacted Patrick Walsh following the release of the first batch of figures.

He submitted the figures to the Department of Health and to the office of Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly.

“I was disappointed with the response I received from the Minister’s Office as I believe Patrick’s findings deserve a lot more scrutiny.

“I am hopeful that will happen particularly in light of the continuing spikes in deaths and the dreadful figures for this month to date.”

He said figures are alarming and raise a lot of questions that need clarification at the very least.

“We have been through a horrendous few years and people are genuinely concerned about all issues relating to public health so in that regard I do believe that these figures need to be given due diligence.

“There may or may not be anything to worry about but, but with proper analysis we could at least have our minds put at ease.

“The situation is far too serious now to ignore it. When people are living in fear, action should be taken to possibly put their minds at ease.”

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