Ebola crisis: Irish officials confirm Dessie Quinn did not have Ebola

Mr Quinn died after returning from Sierra Leone

An Irish engineer who died after returning from working in Sierra Leone did not have the Ebola virus, health authorities have confirmed.

Dessie Quinn, 43, was reportedly being treated for malaria after returning two weeks ago from the west African country. He was found dead in bed in Co Donegal in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Blood tests were conducted following a post-mortem investigation into his sudden death amid fears he may have contracted the deadly virus.

A priest who spoke with the Quinn family earlier claimed they were not notified of health chiefs' concerns before a statement on the precautionary investigation was released to national media in Ireland yesterday.

"It was told to the public, it was not told to the family," Father Adrian Gavigan said.

"Truthfully I was angry. When I heard this report I went back down to the family home for the very reason that you'd wonder what are they thinking when they hear this.

"The family told me that they had no word at all from the Health Service Executive that this is what is being investigated. They could see I was pretty angry."

The HSE says it maintained close contact with the Quinn family after the death and only issued the statement over Ebola on the back of media reports.

The agency did not confirm if it spoke to family members about precautionary tests.

In a statement it said: "The HSE was in contact with some family members from the outset of the tragic situation yesterday.

"The story broke in the media just before 6pm yesterday at which point the HSE had to make a public statement on the matter, given the urgency and nature of a public health issue such as this."

"The HSE expressed its condolences to the individual's family and friends for their loss."

They had been kept in the dark and were not notified of health chiefs' concerns before a statement on the precautionary investigation was released to national media in Ireland yesterday.

Additional reporting by PA

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