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Saturday 24 June 2017

Questions over what Reilly knew in 2011

James Reilly. Photo: Tom Burke
James Reilly. Photo: Tom Burke
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Questions have been raised about what former Minister for Health James Reilly knew about Console founder Paul Kelly as far back as 2011.

The former parliamentary assistant to Derek Keating, Tommy Morris claims that he spoke with Dr Reilly "passionately" about his concerns about Mr Kelly in the foyer of a hotel.

The Fine Gael deputy leader has said that he recalls Mr Morris raising the issues in the Dáil canteen and advised him to contact an official in the Department of Health.

A spokesman for the department confirmed last night that Mr Kelly was quizzed after the matter of his impersonating a doctor in Baggot Street Hospital in the early 1980s was raised via a phonecall from a parliamentary assistant to a TD. He said no written complaint was filed by Mr Morris and no mention of financial irregularities or any concerns about the governance of the charity was made.

"Mr Kelly stated that the impersonation had been a 'prank' in his student days some 30 years earlier," he said.

The minister was not formally briefed at the time, he said, because the impersonation was already a matter of public record by way of a court case.

It is not clear if Dr Reilly was briefed informally and he did not respond to queries last night. They were unable to clarify if the HSE was informed of the probe and the HSE was also unable to say.

Irish Independent

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