Thursday 17 January 2019

Varadkar brushes off Dáil questions on letter to Emma

Emma Mhic Mhathúna
Emma Mhic Mhathúna
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar dismissed Dáil questions yesterday about proposals cancer victim Emma Mhic Mhathúna would meet him and become a "Government advocate" in the wake of the CervicalCheck scandal.

She had been sent a letter by a Fine Gael businessman outlining how she could "choreograph" the smear test fall-out in the Government's favour.

Mr Varadkar was asked about the suggestions by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald but he dismissed them in the Dáil, saying he addressed the issue in newspapers earlier in the week.

Mr Varadkar had distanced himself from the plan to make the terminally ill Ms Mhic Mhathúna a Government advocate.

The proposals were made by Sean O'Connor, a publican with strong links to Junior Minister Brendan Griffin.

Mr O'Connor had sent Ms Mhic Mhathúna a memo which he intended to also send to the Taoiseach. He runs a pub in Co Kerry used by Mr Griffin to stage clinics.

Mr Varadkar said he was disgusted when he read about the proposals in the 'Sunday Independent' and moved to distance himself from the businessman, also known as Sean Ó Conchúir.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna said the proposals left her feeling "manipulated" and "shaken".

On Sunday, Mr Varadkar said: "I don't know Sean Ó Conchúir. I believe he's a personal friend of Emma Mhic Mhathúna but he's not a friend of mine, he doesn't speak to me.

"He's not an emissary and when I organise meetings with people, I organise them through my private office and not the local publican."

Irish Independent

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