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Government refuses to hold Director General of HSE to account - Louise O'Reilly TD

10 May, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Speaking during leaders questions today, Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has criticised the government for refusing to hold the Director General of HSE, Mr Tony O’Brien, to account for the cervical cancer scandal.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Minister, this morning I sat in my car listening to Morning Ireland, I sat there frozen, angry, and upset as I listened to Emma Mhic Mhathúna tell her story again about her diagnosis of cervical cancer, her misdiagnosed smear tests, and how the full picture of her medical history was kept from her until last week.

“But this morning Emma told the nation that her cervical cancer is now terminal.

“She told us about having to tell her young children that she is dying.

“She said 'I’m dying when I don’t need to die'.

“Not only does Emma feel she has been let down by the government and the HSE, she knows she has been let down. Emma said, and these are her words, that 'the government aren’t doing anything.'

“And that is how it looks to the victims in all this – that the government as Emma said, are sticking up for those who were in charge when the decisions to withhold information from women and their families was made.

“It looks like the wagons have been circled and those at the top are protecting each other, but what about the victims in all of this, who is protecting them.

“Emma and many of those affected have called for accountability, but to date it has been sorely lacking.

“It is not good enough that Tony O’Brien is shielded or the government simply say – he will be gone soon anyway.

“There needs to be accountability.

“Emma and the victims of this scandal need and deserve accountability.

Upon response from Minister Pascal Donoghue that the government were standing by Mr O’Brien, Deputy O’Reilly said:

"Someone should be paying a huge price for this scandal, and it most certainly should not be women like Emma and their families."

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