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Reilly response to whistleblower allegations fails to bring clarity to Department’s role in Console scandal - Mary Lou McDonald

2 July, 2016

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD had responded to today’s comments by former Minister for Health James Reilly regarding his knowledge of concerns regarding the Console charity and its former CEO Paul Kelly.

Mary Lou McDonald said:

“James Reilly and Tommy Morris have given entirely different and conflicting accounts of the information Mr Morris provided to the former Minister and the Department of Health in 2013.

“James Reilly admits meeting Tommy Morris and recalls Mr Morris raising the issue of Paul Kelly with him in the Dáil canteen. Dr Reilly says he advised Mr Morris to put his concerns in writing but that there is no evidence of correspondence or meetings with the HSE on the matter.

“However, Tommy Morris says he was very specific with James Reilly in relation to serious allegations against Paul Kelly.

"He says the then Minister came back after raising the issue with his Department and gave Console a clean bill of Health.

"He further alleges that he received subsequent assurances from the Minister’s Special Adviser that all was well at Console.

“The Minister's statement today is at total variance with this account and we need to get to the truth of this matter.

“What we do know is that flags were raised about Console and Paul Kelly as far back as 2006 when a former employee wrote to the HSE.

“Flags were raised again in 2009 when the Office for Suicide Prevention raised concerns about inconsistent accounts at Console.

“The really worrying aspect about all of this is that there is a clear pattern whereby concerns are raised, they are then registered with the relevant authorities yet nothing is done and the malpractice and corruption continues unimpeded.

“The system clearly failed and there needs to be political accountability. James Reilly’s statement today does nothing to bring us any closer to that.”

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