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‘Untouchable’ Tony O’Brien is not part of the solution. His leadership of the HSE is part of the problem – McDonald

8 May, 2018 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Speaking at Leaders Questions today, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to remove Tony O’Brien as Director General of HSE in the wake of the Cervical Cancer Scandal.

Teachta McDonald said;

“By tabling an amendment to the Rural Independent Group’s motion, Sinn Féin sought to create an opportunity tonight for deputies to debate and vote on whether or not the Dáil has confidence in Mr O’Brien.

“We shouldn’t have to do this because you and Minister Harris should be leading from the front. But your government refuses to act and the Dáil has been silenced.

“You said that you would listen to the women and their families, that they would be front and centre in your efforts.

“I challenge you now to be true to your promise. Start the process of accountability. Tell us that you have no confidence in Tony O’Brien and tell him to vacate his post.”

The Sinn Féin Leader also stated that the Taoiseach’s failure to hold Mr O’Brien to account makes the HSE chief appear “untouchable”.

“People looking on see the old boys club who run this state protected at all costs.

“Protected even when the lives of women have been placed in the gravest jeopardy by their catastrophic failures.

“He is untouchable even though wives have been lost to their husbands, untouchable even though mothers have been lost to their children, untouchable even though life itself has been lost to women.

“Tony O’Brien is not part of the solution. His leadership of the HSE is part of the problem and the Taoiseach needs to remove him from his job.” 

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