THE MAN WHO was released from a Co Donegal hospital by anti-vaccination campaigners against medical advice has died in hospital.
Joe McCarron, 75, passed away at Letterkenny University Hospital earlier today after a fight against Covid-19.
McCarron, who was from Dungloe, had been in hospital for a number of days after contracting the virus.
His case received national and international attention when anti-vaccine protestors encouraged him to sign himself out of the hospital on Tuesday week last.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin slammed the removal of McCarron from hospital, saying: “If you get it (Covid-19), you should treat it as very serious.
“Certainly, it is outrageous that anyone would, in an ill-informed way, be advising people to leave hospital. It endangers that person’s health.”
The protestors had claimed that McCarron was being forced into the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.
The protestors, including an Italian national of the so-called Freedom on the Land Movement, filmed McCarron’s release from the hospital.
In the video which was put up on social media, doctors are heard pleading with McCarron to remain in hospital.
However, the protestors tell McCarron that he will die if he remains in the hospital.
McCarron was released but was rushed back into hospital two days later on Thursday last after having severe breathing difficulties.
He was initially put on a ventilator and had been showing signs of improving.
However, his condition deteriorated in recent days and he passed away earlier today.
McCarron’s family had slammed those who helped take him out of the hospital while he was in such a vulnerable condition.
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A family spokesman had previously said that Joe’s wife Una wanted to apologise to the hospital staff for what had happened.
He also slammed those who helped remove Joe from hospital as “reckless.”
The spokesman said: “Una would like to thank the staff and apologise for the actions of Joe’s so-called reckless friends earlier in the week.
“They did not help Joe’s recovery in any way. We would encourage everyone to follow proper medical advice.”
Details of McCarron’s funeral have not yet been released.