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Defence Minister’s double standards over anti-malaria drug Lariam – Ó Snodaigh

10 November, 2016 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said it was very telling that Defence Minister Paul Keogh took another anti-malaria drug instead of Lariam on a recent visit to soldiers serving in Mali.

 In response to Deputy Ó Snodaigh’s question, Minister Keogh confirmed he was prescribed Malarone when he travelled to Mali and not the controversial drug Lariam which despite its serious side effects is administrated to Irish Defence Force personnel serving overseas, including those he was visiting in Mali.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

 “It is somewhat telling that, unlike Irish soldiers serving overseas, Minister Keogh was advised by experts to take Malarone instead of Lariam. This seems to be a case of ‘do as I say and not as I do’ and if the Minister is convinced that Lariam is a safe way to prevent malaria, then surely he should have been prescribed the drug?”

In his reply, Minister Keogh agreed to Deputy Ó Snodaigh’s request to meet the Action for Lariam Group who are campaigning on behalf of Irish soldiers who have suffered serious mental and psychological side effects including death by suicide as a result of taking Lariam.

“I welcome the Minister’s commitment to meet the Action for Lariam Group, something which is long overdue.

“It beggars belief that despite nearly all of the major military powers withdrawing Lariam completely, or only prescribing it as a drug of last resort, our troops are given a drug that could seriously compromises their mental and physical health and well-being.”

Note: A transcript of the debate can be found at: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/takes/dail2016110900023?opendocument

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