Conduct of Minister in reappointing failed children’s hospital board “outrageous” - Louise O'Reilly TD
Speaking this evening Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has called the Minister for Health’s conduct in reappointing the failing National Paediatric Hospital Development Board in July 2018 “outrageous”.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The whole National Children’s Hospital project has been an exercise in absolute incompetence at all levels - from the conduct and performance of the contractors, to the mismanagement of the Board, and to the Minister for Health’s incompetence and inaction.
“In July 2018 the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board was informed that the Minister for Health had accepted the Board’s memo requesting re-appointment.
“We now know that the scale and trajectory of the overrun was known to the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board at this stage with the size of the overrun at €95 million in June and had risen to €191 million by August.
"In this period the Minister for Health reappointed the whole Board.
“It is clear now under questioning in the Dáil this evening that the whole Board who were presiding over the meltdown of this project was reappointed by the Minister without seeking any advice on the performance of the board or without the Minister discussing the results of the board’s performance in relation to the project.
“This is a matter of gross negligence of Ministerial responsibility.
“The Minister waved through the reappointment of the very people who were abjectly failing in their ability to do their jobs.
“The response of the Minister in this episode reveals a lot about him – he kept the overrun from the Minister for Finance, he kept it from his cabinet colleagues, he mislead his coalition partners Fianna Fáil, and he mislead the Dáil.
“It is utterly outrageous that the Minister for Health did not seek any information or advice on the performance of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board who were overseeing the single biggest capital project under the control of his department before he reappointed them en masse.”