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Friday 24 March 2017

A politician who's no stranger to controversy

MARY Harney has been plagued by controversies since she was appointed Health Minister in 2004. Some of the most high- profile scandals include:

Super Bowl: A six-day trip to the US in 2007 cost the taxpayer €190,000. There was outrage when it emerged Ms Harney had attended the Super Bowl during the dental and cancer policy 'fact-finding' trip and missed a key Dail debate on health services.

FAS Science Challenge: Massive expenditure by FAS included the minister's infamous $410 (€299) wash and blow-dry at a Florida beauty parlour.

Holidaying with Ulick McEvaddy: The minister found herself in hot water when it emerged she, Charlie McCreevy and some friends were holidaying with businessman Ulick McEvaddy at his French villa. At the time, the Omega Air founder was seeking the go-ahead for an independent terminal at Dublin.

Susie Long: Her bowel cancer diagnosis was delayed while she waited seven months for a colonoscopy. She died at the age of 41.

Rebecca O'Malley: Her test results were incorrectly read and her cancer was missed for 14 months.

Portlaoise breast scans: A review of thousands of scans revealed that nine women had wrongly been given the all-clear.

Medical cards: Without prior warning, the Government announced some 20,000 over-70s were legally obliged to hand back their cards.

A & E trolleys: After years of controversy over patients being left on trolleys, the minister finally declared the crisis a "national emergency" in 2006.

Cystic Fibrosis: Work on a long promised new cystic fibrosis unit will still not begin until 2011, even though the minister has admitted the services for patients are not up to scratch.

Cancer vaccine: Having just announced the introduction of the cervical cancer vaccine for young girls, the minister said it would have to be postponed because of the economic downturn. She has since done another U-turn and introduced the vaccine.

Irish Independent

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