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Taoiseach must sack Tony O’Brien to start the process of accountability in the HSE – Mary Lou McDonald TD

9 May, 2018 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has told the Taoiseach that he must sack Tony O’Brien as Director General in order to start the process of accountability in the HSE.

The Dublin-Central TD made the call as she raised the case of Emma Ní Mhathúna who received an incorrect smear test result in 2013 and was subsequently diagnosed with Cervical Cancer in 2016.

Teachta McDonald said;

“Taoiseach, I could make all the political reform arguments in the world as to why Tony O’Brien needs to go. I could make all the public policy arguments as to why he needs to go. We could have that back and forth all day long. However, all of that pales into insignificance when compared with what women like Emma are feeling and articulating today.

“The buck has to stop somewhere and accountability has to start somewhere. These women have no confidence in Tony O’Brien. The public has no confidence in Tony O’Brien.

"The opposition has no confidence in Tony O’Brien. Three of your own cabinet Ministers have said that he should stand down. Yet you and the Minister for Health refuse to act.

“This is the two Ireland’s that people are seeing.

“A well paid senior public executives sitting in committee rooms brazening it out after failing so profoundly.

“Versus a terminally ill woman sitting her living room, knowing that she doesn’t have much time left, suspecting that it could have been very different, and left wondering how her children will cope when she is gone.

“Emma wants you to know she wants accountability.

“She told me that she cannot understand why you are sitting on your hands.

“She cannot wrap her head around why you haven’t done the very first thing that must be done in order to start accountability and that is for Tony O’Brien to go.”

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