Lariam Working Group Report recommendations must be published – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Defence, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has called on the Minister for Defence to publish the recommendations of the recent report of his Lariam Working Group (Working Group on Malaria Chemoprophylaxis).
Speaking in the Dáil with the Minister, Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:
“The Minister simply has no credibility on this matter and saying he will implement its hidden recommendations is meaningless, when it is impossible to judge the impact of this if the recommendations have not been published.
“It is clear that the Minister is seeking to avoid accountability in this matter and I have, no faith in him to act in the best interests of Defence Forces, given his track record on this issue.
“The Minister failed to publish a 2013 report from the same working group, yet he expects people to have faith in him.
"How can you have faith in him when one of those hidden conclusions he supported was that the Defence Forces should continue prescribing Lariam to prevent Malaria, when most other armies were ceasing using Lariam due to possible links with mental health illlness?
'How can you have faith in him, when he and the military authorities are acting contrary to a Dáil motion of June 2017, which instructed the Government to cease using Lariam as an anti-malaria drug to soldiers going overseas?
“It appears that a recent court case was settled by the State Agency out of court when the State's defence was trashed by the overwhelming evidence from expert medical witnesses who showed the full side effects of Lariam.
"I am asking the Minister to reconsider his decision not to publish the reports of the Working Group on Malaria Chemoprophylaxis, and to reassess his and the State Claims Agency's strategy to fight a number of claims before the courts and to begin to address the health legacy of the Defence Forces prescribing of Lariam.
“The Minister continues to pull the wool over people’s eyes and stand over the provision of Lariam to our soldiers. It is akin to poisoning soldiers if you knowingly prescribe them with a chemical component, which other armies around the world have discontinued using for that exact reason.
“I am calling on the Minister to immediately publish all Working Group On Lariam reports and immediately implement the Dáil motion of last June.”