Wednesday 12 December 2018

Sinn Fein blocked from placing no confidence motion in HSE boss Tony O'Brien

Mary Lou McDonald said her party is now considering other approaches to try make the Government sack Mr O’Brien

Tony O’Brien, director general of the Health Service Executive (Niall Carson/PA)
Tony O’Brien, director general of the Health Service Executive (Niall Carson/PA)

Kevin Doyle, Group Political Editor

SINN Féin is to pursue “all avenues” to force HSE boss Tony O’Brien from his job despite having a Dáil motion on his position ruled out of order.

Mary Lou McDonald said her party is now considering other approaches to try make the Government sack Mr O’Brien, including a potential motion in the Seanad.

The Ceann Comhairle’s office informed Sinn Féin this morning that its attempts to have the Dáil declare no confidence in the HSE boss would not be allowed tonight.

Sinn Féin had sought to attach an amendment to a wider motion on the health sector reform which has been tabled by a group of rural independents.

Speaking at Leinster House, Ms McDonald they are now “exploring options and talking to other parties”.

“It’s notable that we haven’t heard anybody express confidence in Mr O’Brien’s position. In fact, members of Fianna Fáil, members of Fine Gael, members of Cabinet have all indicated that they share our view that Mr O’Brien has to go,” she said.

“If all the political rhetoric is to amount to anything around accountability and change then we must start at the top of the HSE.”

Ms McDonald described the CervicalCheck scandal as an “absolute catastrophe”.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet has this afternoon signed off an scoping inquiry into why some women were not told that opportunities to spot the early stages of their cancer were missed.

The role played by management at CervicalCheck, the HSE and the Department of Health will come under scrutiny.

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