Saturday 26 May 2018

James Reilly does u-turn on date of site selection

James Reilly
James Reilly

Fiach Kelly and Fionnan Sheahan

HEALTH Minister Dr James Reilly has dramatically changed his story on a controversial site selected for a primary care site in his constituency.

The minister is facing questions in the wake of Irish Independent revelations this morning that a supporter of the Health Minister owns the site in the minister’s constituency where a controversial health centre will be built.

This morning, Dr Reilly and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said the site was decided upon by the HSE when former health minister Mary Harney was in office.

But he has now admitted this information was wrong and another site was selected at that point, which subsequently fell through.

The original site was dropped in November 2010.

Dr Reilly became Health Minister in March 2011.

He now says a lease was signed with the developer of the site owned by his supporter, Seamus Murphy, in September 2011.

Dr Reilly said he wanted to correct the record of the Dail.

"I have no business connections with Mr Murphy," he said.

"I have absolutely no role in the selection of the site," he added.

Fianna Fail health spokesman Billy Kelleher said the site was "selected during your tenure as Minister for Health".

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