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James Reilly & Health Department must clarify how it pursued concerns raised in 2011 regarding Console founder Paul Kelly - David Cullinane TD

10 July, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD, and Public Accounts Committee member, David Cullinane has stated that former health minister James Reilly and the Department of Health must clarify and detail how exactly they responded to issues raised with them in 2011 by former Parliamentary Assistant Tommy Morris regarding the past behaviours of Console founder Paul Kelly.

Deputy Cullinane made the call following an investigation by RTÉ Radio One's This Week programme which revealed a startling lack of clarity surrounding how the former Minister and the Department dealt with the information communicated to them by Mr Morris.

While expressing his further concerns about the timing of the communications between Mr Morris and the Minister and the Department, the Waterford TD stated that he would be raising the matter at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee later this week.

He said;

"The information broadcast by RTE's This Week Programme today raises serious questions and concerns regarding the seriousness with which former Minister James Reilly dealt with the information provided by Mr Morris in 2011. It also provides cause for concern about the credibility of the processes followed by the Department in how it pursued its investigations into the matters brought to its attention by Mr Morris.

"Did the Department inform the HSE as to the outcome of its investigation? Indeed did they inform them of the investigation at all? And when and how did the Department brief the Minister?

"It is deeply worrying, given what has since transpired, that James Reilly is being extremely vague about what he can recall about his interactions with Mr Morris about the subject. He is very unclear as to the level of detail brought to his attention at the time and how proactive he was subsequently on the issue. Senator Reilly's responses are couched in an air of informality and seem to be quite dismissive. He needs to clarify if he was ever briefed, either formally or informally, about the investigation carried out by the Department following Mr Morris' communications.

"The timing of this matter is also extremely important as it happened prior to 2012 and Console's scandalous expenditure issues now in the public domain.

"We must now consider if the former Minister and his Department failed to grasp what was surely a red flag regarding the historic behaviour of the Console founder.

"I intend to raise these matters at a sitting of the Public Accounts Committee later this week."

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