Wednesday 18 September 2019

Stephen Teap criticises former HSE boss Tony O’Brien following 'bitter' and 'irrelevant' interview

Stephen Teap and Vicky Phelan have both fought a public battle to get better outcomes for women suffering from cancer diagnoses. Picture: PA
Stephen Teap and Vicky Phelan have both fought a public battle to get better outcomes for women suffering from cancer diagnoses. Picture: PA
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

THE husband of one of the victims of the cervical cancer scandal has hit out at former HSE boss Tony O’Brien for an interview where he criticised politicians who probed the issue.

Stephen Teap, who lost his wife Irene, accused Mr O’Brien of being “bitter” and “irrelevant”.

Mr Teap told Independent.ie that he viewed the interview given by Mr O’Brien to the Sunday Business Post as an “outburst”.

He said Mr O’Brien was “taking swipes at everybody a very late stage when his opinion now is irrelevant in this debacle”.

He added that in his view when Mr O’Brien stepped down earlier this year “he should have just disappeared from this”.

Mr Teap added that he consider the contribution from Mr O’Brien to be “completely pointless”.

In the interview Mr O’Brien likened the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which looked into the cancer screening issue to a “kangaroo court”.

On Twitter, Mr Teap argued that Mr O’Brien was the head of the “old boys’ club” and that he has given a “bitter response” after he stepped down.

In the Sunday Business Post interview, Mr O'Brien also referred to Health minister Simon Harris as a "frightened little boy".

Mr Harris’ spokesperson responded saying: "The Minister doesn’t believe in engaging in the politics of personalised attacks.

"The CervicalCheck situation was a very difficult time for women in Ireland. They felt let down.

"The women were and are the Minister’s priority.

"Tony O’Brien took the decision to step down from his post.

"The Minister believes that was the right decision. He wishes him well."

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