Reilly 'won't hinder' HSE official after scathing attack
Published 01/08/2011 | 05:00
Health Minister James Reilly yesterday said the job of a senior official who made a stinging attack on politicians and public servants in charge of the health service was "absolutely safe".
Mr Reilly said he wanted to encourage the national director of the HSE's Child and Family Service, Gordon Jeyes, to continue speaking out.
His comments came after Mr Jeyes claimed the Government had no detailed plan for its new children's department and branded the culture of the HSE as "appalling".
Referring to Mr Jeyes as a "straight-talking guy, as opposed to a canny Scotsman", Mr Reilly agreed with his views on the HSE, adding that its corporate structure was "clearly dysfunctional".
But he defended his cabinet colleagues against Mr Jeyes's claims that some of them believed child-protection problems could be solved solely by new legislation.
He was responding to a scathing speech by Mr Jeyes last month, in which he lambasted the Cabinet and HSE for numerous failures.
"I've no intention of seeing a man who can stand up and deliver a message of concern of this nature being hindered in any way," Mr Reilly said.
He agreed with Mr Jeyes that talks with unions were going on too long and warned the Government would walk away from the Croke Park deal if it was not delivering.
However, he said the Government would not lift the ban on hiring, which Mr Jeyes referred to as "daft".
The HSE said it had only seen snippets of Mr Jeyes' speech and would need to read the full text before it could draw any conclusions.
Mr Jeyes said if you could write a textbook about the HSE, it would show "if it was possible to get it wrong, they got it wrong".
The HSE manager yesterday stood over his criticisms in an interview on RTE Radio.
But he said he had since been given permission by the Government to appoint new senior officials to assist him in his role, as he had requested.