16th September 2021
The HSE has thanked Óglaigh na hÉireann/Irish Defence Forces personnel for their support at the COVID-19 Testing Centre in Kilkenny.
Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Battalion based at James Stephen’s Barracks in Kilkenny began marshalling duty at the centre on Kilkenny’s Hebron Industrial Estate late last year and finished up their assignments in recent days.
To mark the completion, the Chief Officer of HSE South East Community Healthcare Ms Kate Killeen White formally thanked the Defence Force personnel.
Along with other members of the 3rd infantry battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Declan Crummey, Lieutenant Paul Murphy and Company Sergeant Pat O’ Neill represented the Defence Forces at the short outdoor occasion.
Expressing her thanks to the military personnel, Ms. Killeen White said: “From when the HSE’s Kilkenny COVID-19 Testing Centre began operating on 20th of March, 2020 – initially at Nowlan Park and then from the premises at Hebron – just over 39,000 tests have been carried out. Coping with the pandemic in Ireland, which at times has been very challenging and indeed sad too, has been an all-out effort across society. The Defence Forces have been of outstanding support to the health services and that was demonstrated day after day here in Kilkenny. We were delighted to mark that in some small way today as the contingent finished up their work with us.
“The HSE and the Defence Forces have an ongoing, close working relationship. We co-operate on emergency management planning and the Defence Forces help to keep essential services running during situations of crisis such as during severe weather. The pandemic is not over but the support of the Defence Forces throughout the country has been very important in the management of the public response and we are very grateful.”