Carers and bereaved families across the country are calling for a public inquiry into deaths in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Family-led advocacy group Care Champions have organised a public conference at DCU in Dublin this afternoon to discuss the issue.
The group's founder Majella Beattie says families were denied access to their loved ones as they died - and now they're being denied answers about their deaths.
"We believe that families and those with lived experience have to be at the heart of reform", she said.
"We want to use our experiences to prevent this happening to anybody again."
"Along with calling for a human rights public inquiry, we're also calling for a legal right of access to a loved one in any care setting."
During the first stages of the pandemic, Ireland was described as being “at the higher end of the scale” for fatalities in nursing homes - with care home residents accounting for some 62% of deaths, against an international average of 25%.
Restrictions meant many family members couldn't be with loved ones in their final hours.
"Families need to know the truth, not matter how difficult or how bad it is", Ms Beattie said.
"Was there anybody there holding their hand?"
"Did they know that their loved ones were outside the window?"
"Did they know they were loved? Were they afraid?"
Ms Beattie said: "They do not know who was there. They do not know was there anybody in the nursing home carer-wise, because we know there was a carer crisis."
Nursing Homes Ireland have previously called on the Taoiseach to urgently help private and voluntary nursing homes as the sector is in a "crisis".
At least 17 nursing homes closed last year and more than 480 people lost their homes as a result.
The NHI warned the government that more closures are inevitable if the state does not intervene.
Chief Executive Officer of the NHI Tadhg Daly asked for a reduction in residential rates to be more in line with the Fair Deal scheme, which offers financial assistance to those living in nursing homes.
Main image shows the hand of a younger woman holding the hands of an elderly person in a nursing home. Picture by: Jens Kalaene