Are these workers trapped by bollards they’ve installed outside a hospital in Belfast?

CLAIM: Workers have trapped their van inside bollards they are installing outside a hospital in Belfast.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The building is an office block in Manchester, not a hospital in Belfast. And the bollards are removable.

Continue reading Are these workers trapped by bollards they’ve installed outside a hospital in Belfast?

Are COVID-19 deaths in Northern Ireland 50% higher than Ireland?

A widely shared tweet by Gabriel Scally on Wednesday 22 April draws attention to an Irish Times article about the difference in relative COVID-19 death rates across the island of Ireland, and claims that “the death rate for #COVID19 deaths in hospital (and for all COVID deaths) is 50% higher in Northern Ireland”.

Continue reading Are COVID-19 deaths in Northern Ireland 50% higher than Ireland?

Do families have to give permission for COVID-19 death statistics?

CLAIM: The Department of Health (England) needs the consent of families to release information of deceased relatives.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. While there has been a change in the timing of reporting of official statistics regarding the impact of COVID-19, there is no suggestion that family consent has any role in the registration of deaths or their statistical reporting. In Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency has stated that all deaths are a matter of public record. Continue reading Do families have to give permission for COVID-19 death statistics?

Is there a plan to use Dundonald Ice Bowl as a morgue?

CLAIM: It is claimed on social media that Northern Ireland Government contingency plans for COVID-19 include turning Dundonald Ice Bowl into a morgue to store bodies temporarily. A common extension is that the SSE (Odyssey) Arena has also been earmarked as a contingency morgue.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The Department of Justice confirms that there are no plans to use either Dundonald Ice Bowl or the SSE Arena. The Justice Minister has stated that buildings on the Kinnegar site outside Holywood will be used as the Northern Ireland Temporary Resting Place if required. Continue reading Is there a plan to use Dundonald Ice Bowl as a morgue?

Michael Davitt GAC offered as a coronavirus field hospital?

CLAIM: The grounds of the Michael Davitt GAC, in Swatragh, County Londonderry, have been offered as a coronavirus field hospital.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Michael Davitt GAC has responded that while consultations are ongoing, no decision has been made or agreed with any other agency regarding the use of their grounds. Continue reading Michael Davitt GAC offered as a coronavirus field hospital?

Do more than 700,000 born in Northern Ireland have an Irish passport?

CLAIM: More than 700,000 people born in Northern Ireland have an Irish passport.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. 831,779 Irish passport applications (2010-19) represents 44.7% of the Northern Ireland-born population living in the UK at the time of the 2011 Censuses. Continue reading Do more than 700,000 born in Northern Ireland have an Irish passport?