Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that Health Minister James Reilly is trying to play down the conflict of interest that was exposed by Sinn Féin and that led to the recent resignation of the Minister’s appointee as chair of the West/North-West Hospitals Group.
Commenting after questioning Minister Reilly in the Dáil today, Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
“Minister Reilly has now admitted, under questioning from me in the Dáil that when Mr Noel Daly was appointed by the Minister as chair of the West/North-West Hospitals Group, he failed to tell the Board that he was a 50% shareholder in the D&F Health Partnership, a private health consultancy firm. This firm was subsequently awarded a lucrative contract by the Hospitals Group to carry out a report that recommended cuts to maternity services in Portiuncula and Letterkenny hospitals.
“Minister Reilly also admitted to me that a HSE investigation has found that the procurement of the services of Mr Daly’s company was not in accordance with HSE national financial regulations. On 22 May the findings of the audit were presented to the director general of the HSE, who wrote to Mr Daly that any further breaches of procurement rules would be unacceptable and that Mr Daly should have made it clear to board members that he retained a 50% shareholding in the company concerned.
“Yet in the face of all this Minister Reilly tries to play down the conflict of interest and his own role in it. The Minister claims that when he appointed him he knew of Mr Daly’s record as a Roscommon county footballer but he failed to answer my question as to whether he knew Mr Daly was the founder and 50% shareholder of a private health consultancy firm.
“This matter is not closed with the resignation of Mr Daly and we will continue to pursue the full facts and hold the Minister and this Government to account.”