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National Broadband Scheme must prioritise rural Ireland

26 February, 2008

Speaking at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children today, which was attended by members of Relatives for Justice, Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD called for the full publication of the Dunne report into organ retention.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "I welcome Parents for Justice to the Committee. I have kept in touch with the work of the group and I want to commend them for doing so much to assist traumatized and bereaved parents and to uncover a hidden and shameful secret in our health services. Most importantly the group is working to ensure that no more parents have to go through this trauma.

"The latest revelations, from the unpublished Dunne Inquiry, about how the bodies of children were treated and about how so many of the organs retained were never used for any medical purpose, adds to the grief of those affected. Even the consolation that their children's organs may have benefited somebody else is denied to them.

"It is an utter disgrace that Parents for Justice has had to resort to Freedom of Information requests to get access to the Dunne report. The report should be published in full and published right away and that is the call that should go out loud and clear from this Committee today. As of now we can see neither the report nor an adequate explanation from Government as to why we cannot see it.

"All of this could have been avoided had the Government accepted a motion I tabled on behalf of Sinn Féin, the Green Party and Independents in the Dáil in October 2002. That motion called for a public inquiry to be established and to complete its work 'in as comprehensive, economical and speedy a manner as possible'. The public inquiry could have been completed at this stage." ENDS

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