The number of COVID-19 deaths in Ireland may have been been overestimated by official figures, according to HIQA.
New figures from the watchdog show that there were between 1,100 1,200 more deaths during the height of the pandemic than would normally be expected.
The HIQA report shows that the number of deaths rose by 13% between March and June.
The official coronavirus death toll for the same period was 1,709; however, the health watchdog said that figure included people who were infected with the virus but may have died from other causes.
The HIQA report compares data from death notices on RIP.ie in previous years to the number of deaths reported this year.
Chief Scientist, Dr Conor Teljeur said: “Based on an analysis of the death notices reported on RIP.ie since 2010, there is clear evidence of excess deaths occurring since the first reported death due to COVID-19 in Ireland.
“There were about 1,100 to 1,200 more deaths than we would expect based on historical patterns – a 13% increase between 11 March to 16 June," he said
“However, the number of excess deaths is substantially less than the reported 1,709 COVID-19-related deaths over the same period.”
He said some COVID-19 deaths may have been due to other causes but added “we think that this is probably a small amount.”
“Possibly people who may have been close to end of life or at end of life and died with COVID-19 but we would have expected them to have died during this time period,” he said.