The Health Service Executive (HSE) are investigating the circumstances surrounding the possibility of a virus outbreak at Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada on the island of Arranmore. Principal of the 60 pupil secondary school, Mary Doherty, yesterday morning confirmed that three teachers have been off sick with virus related illnesses.
She added that the HSE are carrying out the investigation at her personal request and that she wished to avoid any form of alarm in relation to the matter. The staff who are working at the school are in good health and to date none of the student population seem to have been affected by a virus-related illness.
“We have three teachers who have been off sick with virus-related illness. We do know that it is a virus-related illness but we do not know if the cases are related. I contacted the public health authorities in Letterkenny to inform them of the situation. The situation is being investigated by the HSE. The other teachers and staff at the school are fine and it dosen’t seem to have affected the student population at all. We are not sure if there is a link between the illnesses,” she said.
The principal said that she informed the HSE of the situation as she had the best interests of the school at heart and felt that she had to act accordingly.
The HSE yesterday confirmed that they were investigating the situation at the school. In a statement released to the Donegal Democrat they said: “The Department of Public Health in the North West have only been informed about the situation on Arranmore Island, and are currently looking into it.”
It is not certain, as yet, when the HSE investigation will be completed.
A spokesperson for the VEC said: “We are aware of the situation. We understand that the school is taking all the necessary precautions in relation to this situation. The principal has been in contact and is in contact with the public health authorities on a regular basis. The main issue here is to safeguard all staff and pupils and that is being done,” he said.