Ó Snodaigh announces debate on motion to ban Lariam’s use form Defence Force personnel
Speaking today after announcing that Sinn Féin will be using its Dáil Private Members’ time next Wednesday to debate its motion to ban the anti-malaria drug Lariam for members’ of the Defence Forces, Sinn Féin TD and Defence spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh said:
“The refusal of successive governments to provide a safer alternative to Lariam continues to place the health and wellbeing of Irish Defence personnel serving overseas at risk.
“The Sinn Féin Motion, which has the support of Fianna Fáil and opposition TDs from across the political groupings, would force the Department of Defence to stop administering Lariam and replace it with a safer alternative such as Malarone or Doxcycline.
“It also acknowledges the suffering of military personnel and the fact that many who were prescribed this drug have experienced prolonged psychotic and psychiatric behaviour and suicidal tendencies which has led to the possible death by suicide of a least eleven military personnel in recent years.
“It is inexplicable that, despite the publication of UN guidelines on the dangers of Lariam, Ireland has failed to follow the lead of nearly all the world’s major military powers who have completely banned its use, or prescribe it only as a drug of last resort.
“The fact that this has not happened shows a worrying level of disregard for Defence Forces personnel and I hope that after next week’s debate, our motion will be passed and that finally, the government will do the right thing and ban this controversial drug and start to address the consequences of having administered it for years.”