Friday 20 April 2018

Willie O'Dea urges PAC probe on food aid for hospital

Willie O'Dea, TD. Photo: Tom Burke
Willie O'Dea, TD. Photo: Tom Burke
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

THE Public Accounts Committee should probe how a Cork hospital came to receive tonnes of EU food aid destined for the deprived, a TD has urged.

It emerged that the Mercy University Hospital in Cork city has been in receipt of food products from the EU ‘Food Distribution Programme for the Most Deprived Persons of the Community’ from 2009 until 2013.

The scheme is intended to supply foods to the less fortunate in society.

Fianna Fail TD Willie O’Dea said the matter should be raised before the PAC.

The Limerick representative said that he would like to see some accountability for how the State-funded hospital was ever in receipt of the food aid.

“I can't understand why food destined for charities would finish up going directly to a state hospital,” he told the Irish Independent.

A spokesperson for the hospital last night said that it had ceased participation in the scheme last year.

“As a registered charity and a not-for-profit entity, the hospital originally understood it was eligible and complied with the terms and conditions of the scheme. The value of the goods received during the entire period was €21,871, which was fully repaid,” they added.

The hospital spokesperson said that there was a “belief historically” that the hospital fitted the criteria of the scheme, but is now “aware it does not” and has since ceased participation.

Irish Independent

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