Saturday 18 November 2017

Tanaiste not told about resignation of HSE boss Cathal Magee

James Reilly. Photo: Collins
James Reilly. Photo: Collins
Health Service Executive chief Cathal Magee who has left the agency
Lise Hand

Lise Hand

THE Tánaiste revealed today that he had learned about the resignation of Health Service Executive chief Cathal Magee in the media.

Mr Gilmore described as "regrettable" that the information leaked out in that way. "I heard about it on the RTE news," he confirmed. "I have spoken with Minister Reilly about it, and I'm confident that it's unlikely it will arise again".

The Taoiseach denied that there had been a row between the Tánaiste and the Health Minister, or that tensions had risen between the coalition parties.

"There's a very strong professional relationship between both parties in government, between the Tánaiste and myself, between the Tánaiste and all the ministers, and between the Taoiseach and all the ministers. There's no need for over-reaction," he said.

However, junior health minister, Labour's Roisin Shortall had made her displeasure clear this week over the fact that she too had learned of the departure of Mr Magee through the media, despite the fact that Dr Reilly had been told the news five days earlier.

The Taoiseach and Tánaiste were speaking this afternoon at an event to outline progress made on the Government's action plan for jobs.

More than 93pc of initiatives under the scheme, which aims to create 100,000 jobs by 2016, have been delivered in the last three months - compared with 96pc in the first quarter.

"The Action Plan for Jobs is central to our efforts in tackling unemployment and I promised to ensure that Government would work hard to deliver on its ambition," said Mr Kenny.

"The quarter one commitments are 100pc complete and are yielding results.

"The quarter two commitments are over 93pc complete and I expect they will be fully delivered in the coming weeks."

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was free to comment on the Irish economy after it recommended yesterday that the Government cut social welfare benefits.

The Taoiseach would not be drawn on whether the Government would take its suggestions on board, saying it was a matter for the Cabinet to decide on closer to the drafting of the Budget.

Earlier, the Tanaiste said the IMF recommendations were "not something the Government has to follow".

IMF chiefs suggested significant savings could be made by means-testing for medical cards for the elderly and narrowing eligibility for child benefits.

(Additional reporting Press Association)

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