Taoiseach Micheál Martin has told the Dáil it is "unacceptable" that there is poor communication between nursing homes and relatives of residents. 

Mr Martin was commenting on questions raised about Ballynoe Nursing Home in Co Cork which had a Covid-19 outbreak on 8 January which resulted in 21 deaths of residents. 

Solidarity TD Mick Barry said in some cases the phones at the nursing home were unattended for six or seven hours. 

He said that relatives were deeply unhappy and staff levels "were not what they should have been". 

In response, the Taoiseach said Health Information Quality Authority had engaged with the nursing home. 

He said there had been an inspection and the chief inspector would prepare a report. 

He told Deputy Barry: "I do take your point that relatives are anxious for engagement and raised poor communications".