Tag Archives: HSE

President of the Epidemiology and Public Health section of the Royal Society of Medicine Dr Gabriel Scally who is carrying out a scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck scandal

The Health Service Executive has confirmed that the number of women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy has increased from 209 to 221.

HSE Director General John Conaghan told the Public Accounts Committee, in response to questions from Labour’s Alan Kelly, that a further 12 cases have been identified.

Mr Conaghan said that so far three cases have been settled, 35 are active and there are two potential cases.

In relation to the review of 3,000 smear tests which has yet to begin, Mr Kelly said it will be impossible for the Scally Review to be completed by the end of August….

Number of women affected in smear test scandal rises to 221 (RTÉ)


Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD accused the HSE of “deliberately delaying” the release of the slides for review by independent cytologists by holding up a crucial protocol for their release.

Ms Shorthall said:

“The lack of urgency being shown by the HSE in allowing women to get access to their smear tests is incredibly alarming.

The only conclusion that we can draw at this stage is that the HSE is deliberately foot-dragging on this issue to impede women’s efforts to seek legal redress.

…I am also increasingly concerned that the scoping inquiry headed by Dr Gabriel Scally is being frustrated by its lack of access to the lab data it needs to fulfil its important mandate.

Dr Scally’s inquiry has already faced difficulties in getting documentation in searchable formats.

The data on the accuracy rates of screening by individual labs is the key information needed.

Why is there a delay in making this available to Dr Scally? The Minister must step in to ensure there is no further delay in releasing this information.”



This morning.

On Today with Sean O’Rourke, presented by Miriam O’Callaghan, Vicky Phelan was asked for her reaction to Fergal Bowers’ report that not even one of the 3,000 cervical smear slides being reviewed have been looked at yet.

Ms Phelan said:

Justine McCarthy actually wrote about this in The Sunday Times – it was actually a couple of weeks ago, on the 17th of June. Because she had been in touch with me beforehand, before she published it, to see if I had heard anything different.

“So, you know, she had highlighted this back then and she had got the statement from the college of gynaecologists [Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists] who confirmed that the review wouldn’t be completed until later in the year.

“So I’m not sure why that wasn’t highlighted at the time, you know, a couple of weeks ago that it’s only kind of coming to the attention of the HSE today. I’m a bit surprised to be honest.”

Review of cancer labs’ tests ordered by Simon Harris has yet to begin (Justine McCarthy, The Sunday Times, June 17, 2018)


Bill Kenneally

Last February.

Several men who had been abused by Waterford basketball coach Bill Kenneally held a press conference in the Buswells Hotel on Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

Kenneally was given a 14-year sentence in 2016, for sexually abusing ten boys aged between 12 and 16 in Waterford between 1984 and 1987.

During the press conference in February, abuse survivors Colin Power and Jason Clancy said they believed gardai were aware of Kenneally’s abuse as far back as 1979.

The survivors’ claims of a cover-up of the abuse by gardai, members of Fianna Fáil, the HSE and Catholic Church are to be examined by a Commission of Investigation overseen by retired Circuit Court Judge Barry Hickson from next month.

Further to this…

This morning, Saoirse McGarrigle, in the Irish Mirror, reports:

The Child and Family Agency has refused to identify paedophile Bill Kenneally in the medical notes of a boy targeted by him…

Kevin Keating asked to see the 1987 file in which he detailed being lured to the pervert’s home, tied up and threatened if he told anyone about the abuse.

Tusla sent it to him – but the sadist’s name was blanked out despite the fact he was jailed for 14 years in 2016 – 29 years after Kevin first named him to a doctor. Mr Keating and other victims of the former basketball coach claim it proves health bosses knew of the abuse in the 1980s.

The Waterford man said: “The medical notes confirm I told her [the doctor] about the abuse. But there are parts of the papers blacked out. Bill Kenneally’s name has been hidden.

“But that should not be redacted. We know it’s his name there and this shows the HSE knew I and others were being abused by him at that time.”

In a medical report dated 1989 a paediatrician wrote:

Kevin was seen by me on several occasions between 22/10/87 and the summer of 1988.

“Kevin was a 14-year-old boy who was alleging sexual abuse by ______.

“One episode which occurred on the Halloween of ’86 when he was brought into a house and tied up.

“He was also making allegations other boys had been approached by the same person.

There is a question of money changing hands in some of these cases.”

Tusla refused to identify paedophile Bill Kenneally in medical notes of boy he targeted (Saoirse McGarrigle, Irish Mirror)

Previously: “We Know The Gardai Were Aware Of His Activities Since 1979”

“When it first broke out, I was like ‘Okay, well, the head of the HSE is surely going to do something’, and he didn’t.

And then I looked to Simon Harris. I was thinking ‘Well, surely the Minister for Health is going to step in and do something’. That’s why we give these people powers, and he didn’t do anything.

So then I was like ‘Surely the Taoiseach is going to do something’. And he just seems to be sticking up for them … they’re all hiding there in the Dáil and they don’t see what I see.

The Government need to go. They’re not actually – and I’m not being insulting, it’s genuine – they’re not actually capable of minding us, and that is their job. To make sure that we’re okay.”

Mother-of–five Emma Mhic Mhathúna (top) to Audrey Carville on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier.

‘I’m dying when I don’t need to’ – Emma Mhic Mhathúna speaks after terminal cancer diagnosis (RTÉ)

Previously: Emma’s Story

This morning.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health.

Tony O’Brien, director general of the HSE, and Minister for Health Simon Harris are answering questions from TDs about the CervicalCheck scandal.

Watch live here.


“At the heart of the Cervical Check crisis is a lack of oversight, governance and accountability within the HSE and throughout our entire health system, from the Minister for Health down.

“The lack of legal accountability structures has allowed a culture of concealment and legal defensiveness to prevail in our health system. That has clearly worked against the best interests of patients, including the thousands of women who are now affected by the shambolic and appalling way that Cervical Check audits were carried out.

In the absence of meaningful legal reforms, simply appointing a new chief executive to head up the HSE once Tony O’Brien steps down in the coming weeks will be an entirely futile gesture.

For this reason, I am urging the Minister for Health Simon Harris to appoint an interim chief executive and to at the same time prioritise key accountability reforms recommended in the Sláintecare health report published a year ago by a cross-party Oireachtas committee which I chaired.”

Roisin Shortall, Social Democrats co-leader

Social Democrats

From top: Cartoon from Annie West and HSE management this afternoon

Or uncAnnie?


Uncanny so.

Belinda writes:

Today’s session of the [Joint Oireachtas] Health Committee [examining the CerivalCheck scandal] and the all-male HSE contingent was neatly forshadowed [on Monday] by Annie West on your site…thank her for me.

Previously: CervicalCheck

Earlier: Hey, Tony

This afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2

Director General of HSE Tony O Brien arrives at Leinster House to attend the Health Committee on the CervicalCheck scandal.

More to follow.

Earlier: Meanwhile, In The Dail

Tony’s Wealth Service


Director General of the Health Service Executive this afternoon

 Tony O’Brien has said that of the 17 women whose smear tests were the subject of a review and who have since passed away, two had the results of their review communicated to them before they died.

The numbers relating to the 208 women whose smear tests were the subject of review who have been informed remain at 46, while 162 have not been told, Mr O’Brien confirmed to the committee…

Two of 17 women learned of CervicalCheck review before dying (RTÉ)

From top: Director General, HSE Tony O’Brien and Minister for Health Simon Harris TD at the launch of the National Services Plan 2018; ‘Evofem Biosciences’ logo.

This morning.

Via Irish Times:

Minister for Health Simon Harris gave written consent to HSE director general Tony O’Brien to take up a lucrative role at a US contraceptive manufacturer months before he leaves his role running the country’s health service, the HSE has said.

Mr O’Brien became a board member of the San Diego company Evofem Biosciences on January 17th, almost two months before he publicly announced he would be leaving the HSE in August.

His boardroom roles at the publicly quoted company entitles him to an “annual cash retainer” of $50,000, additional cash fees of $15,000 and initial share-buying options worth $180,000 vesting over a three-year period with further annual options of $90,000, according to the firm’s public statements.

Mr O’Brien is paid an annual salary of €192,000 as HSE director-general, a job he said in March he will leave at the end of the summer.

Good times

Minister allowed O’Brien to join US firm while running HSE (Simon Carswell and Martin Wall, Irish Times)

Last night: Emma’s Story

Simon’s Memo

Previously: HSE Boss ‘Dismissed My Concerns’ About Cervical Screening Results


Emma Ní Mhathúna (top) was among a number of women asked by the HSE to promote its HPV vaccine programme in a video posted on YouTube last August.

Emma, a mother-of five, had recently been diagnosed with cervical cancer and urged parents to make sure their daughters took up the vaccination.

However, while filming, Emma was unaware that she had had a delayed cervical cancer diagnosis that went back to 2013 – four years before before the HSE asked Emma to participate in the video

In an interview on Raidió na Gaeltachta‘s An Saol ó Dheas, Emma told host Helen Ní Shé that she had had smear tests every three years since the birth of her daughter Natasha, 15, and that all the results had come back as normal until 2016.

Emma, living in County Kerry said:

The nurse called me and said that something was showing up in the smear, and that I needed to go to the hospital … On 20 September 2016 I got a biopsy done, but the doctor said to me straight out there and then that he didn’t need to wait to get the test results back, you have cancer and we have to act quickly, I’m ordering an MRI for you.

That was Wednesday, and on Monday I got the MRI and the doctor told me I had stage 2B cervical cancer.”

I was saying to myself, how did things get so bad … and I had the letter from (the smear in) 2013 to say everything was fine.”

Emma was treated at St Luke’s Hospital in Dublin. She moved to Kerry six months ago and is now under the care of University College Hospital, Cork.

Emma  said:

“Every 4 months I have an appointment with the hospital to check that everything is ok. On the 4 April I was there, and I had the kids with me because we have a game, when I get the all-clear I buy a helium balloon in a shop in Cork and we have a little party … When there’s cancer in the house, the children are always worrying if everything is ok …”

Although everything was clear in Cork in April, Emma explained to Helen that she hasn’t been feeling well recently and that she is now very worried.

“On 15 April, that’s a fortnight ago, I knew there was something wrong with my body again. I went to the doctor and he found something that was more than 1 cm there … I was at the hospital last week and had to get a biopsy done yesterday.

Everything is up in the air now … Séamus is making his confirmation next Tuesday, and I’m very worried about everything, so I asked the church and the school if Mario can make his confirmation as well. He’s in 4th Class. It’s good for me that they can both do it together. I had new clothes bought for them anyway.”

On Sunday, Emma got a call from her doctor in Dublin.

She said:

“He said that he hoped I was reading the stories in the paper about the Cervical Check. He said he didn’t have all my files in front of him, but that I was one of the women involved. I asked him to call Cork and to tell them to take good care of me.”

In a further phone call, Emma recalled:

“The doctor told me that the smear results I got in 2013 were wrong … the first indications of cancer, the cells changing in the body, were there.

If I had got the right results at that time, I wouldn’t be where I am now … I had a kidney infection in January, I have a lung infection now. My life … well I’m not too worried about my life, but the kids are very very young.

Of the HSE promotional video, Emma said:

There wasn’t enough uptake on the HPV vaccine.  After what I’d gone through … I said I’d have to take a stand and help people.  That video is on Youtube – that’s me and my daughter.”

Radio Na Gaeltachta

Earlier: Simon’s Memo

Today’s Times Ireland edition

This morning.

Following on from Ellen Coyne’s previous reports about how the State paid for content in newspapers, including the Irish Independent and Irish Times, here and here

In today’s The Times Ireland edition.

Ms Coyne reports:

A drive to cut hospital admissions during the winter flu crisis was among the publicly funded campaigns that local papers were instructed to present as a news story, The Times can reveal.

The HSE was given final approval over journalists’ copy during the initiative, run by Mediaforce, the same agency used by the government for Ireland 2040 and Creative Ireland campaigns.

To create advertorial content, local newspaper journalists were sent to interview staff at a number of HSE injury units. The interview was arranged by the media agency. It is understood that in at least one case, the journalists had been working in-house while others were freelancers.

Mediaforce told journalists that the advertisements should be laid out like a normal news page. Yesterday, The Times revealed that the same firm told editorial staff that advertorials had to look like normal news stories.

Correspondence seen by The Times shows that after journalists wrote the interview it was laid out on the page, often labelled as a “special feature,” and the HSE was allowed to request amendments.

HSE campaign to cut hospital admissions during winter flu crisis pushed as genuine news (Ellen Coyne, Times Ireland edition)


In the Irish Independent

A British newspaper has denied it is using Facebook data to influence the result of the upcoming abortion referendum.

And the newspaper with a London-based headquarters insisted it used the social media platform to promote its stories to all sides of the abortion debate.

The pro-life side of the abortion campaign has frequently accused ‘The Times, Ireland Edition’ of being biased in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment.

British newspaper in ‘bid to influence abortion vote’ denial (Irish Independent)


Last night…

Ah here.

Peter Murtagh?

Previously:  Propaganda Is Something You Pay For

Dublin mother-of-two Adrienne Murphy, whose 14-year-old son Caoimh is severely autistic, posted a video in which she makes an emotional plea for the HSE to provide her son with residential care on Tuesday evening.

She spoke of the harrowing conditions in which she and her two sons live.

“My name is Adrienne Murphy.

“I’m the mother of a beautiful, 14-year-old severely autistic boy called Caoimh. I have been fighting for him really hard for 15 years. I’ve managed to, despite the fact that he’s very severe, and incapable of speaking, I’ve managed to break him out of a locked-in state the past two years.

“I’ve taught him how to point out of a letter board, he has shown that he is highly intelligent and very sweet-natured, beautiful.

“He also experiences psychotic, regular, increasingly more violent, psychotic episodes where he is very, very self-injurious – smashing his hands against hard surfaces and beating his head off walls, to the point that he draws blood and bruises himself.

“And he’s violently aggressive towards me and me other son who’s also a minor, to the point that, in the last two years, we’ve had seven interventions by the emergency services, 999 calls having to be made from my home.

“The police, ambulances, the fire brigade, seven times I’ve been brought to A&E because of his violent behaviour is out of control.

“The last time he was removed from the house, I had to dial 999, he was smashing up the house, he was completely naked and completely insane.

“The police came and the ambulance, they grabbed him onto a trolley and they handcuffed him naked and they brought him from the house, screaming and shouting with a towel over his head to be brought to the A&E service for sedation.

“I spent a week with him on a ward in Crumlin’s Children Hospital during which time he had two further violent outbursts which required physical restraint, multiple security men and further sedation.

“But I was let go, after a week, and I had to bring him home and continue to look afar him. At that time, I requested…the HSE know I’ve been in a crisis for years. I requested emergency residential care for my son because clearly his needs are gone way beyond my ability to care for him at home, even though it’s heartbreaking for me and I wanted to keep him at home.”

“This is a picture of my beloved boy and what happened to his face last June, [inaudible] physical restraint, by black eye, that he’s lucky that his cheekbone wasn’t broken.

“I’m doing this [broadcast] because I was promised, the HSE promised me, four months ago, that funding was in place, that they realised, they said that they know we’re an emergency situation. That’s he’s gone to the top of their list for autistic, young people who require residential care.

“They said that the funding was in place, that funding isn’t an issue, they have the green light and the funding.

“Now, a service has been found, it can fit his needs, they have the expertise to deal with him and the experience, they’ve deemed him eligible for the service.

“There is a place for the service, there are vacancies at the service and last week I thought he was going to begin the admission into that placement.

Instead, last week, a whole load of procedures, a very cruel email was sent to me, saying no, that is not the case. Many, many more procedures have to take place apparently even though huge amounts of information, professional reports about my son have gone to the service.

“Now they say more observations of him in the home setting is required, they don’t know when that observation is going to take place, maybe weeks, sometime over the next weeks, and then maybe he might be suitable for a possible placement.

“I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this for one more day.

“I know that there is an empty, standalone unit at that service that he could be brought to immediately.

“…we are living in brutalising, dehumanising conditions because Caoimh is, as well as being severely disable, he can’t even wash his own hands, he’s doubly incontinent at night.

He’s nearly the same height as me by the way and extremely strong.

“…He’s locked at night, into a tiny, a tiny boxed bedroom. I’ve had to put padding on the door, I’ve had to put Perspex across the window.

“He’s locked in there at night because if he gets out at all, and I don’t hear him, I’m so exhausted, that if I don’t hear him he could easily come down, get knives, smash glasses.

“He’s doubly incontinent at night, including bowel movements twice at night. He has a commode in his room but he can’t use it independently, hygienically.

“If I don’t get up twice a night to help him which often I can’t, I’m just so exhausted, I will…and in fact, maybe six out of seven nights, I’ll open Caoimh’s door to find him covered in his own excrement in the morning.

“And he even eats his own excrement.”

Adrienne Murphy (Facebook)

About two hours ago, Ms Murphy updated her Facebook in which she wrote the following:

Caoimh and I are currently in Crumlin Children’s Hospital where we are being looked after by the wonderful staff here.

1. So far, so silent from the HSE. In spite of the mounting pressure neither Minister Harris’ office or the HSE has made any contact with me.

2. The HSE case workers dealing with Caoimh could have him sorted into the place for which he has been assessed as eligible, in minutes. But they won’t do it – the last contact from them about the residential place was that many more assessments needed to be made, there was no particular time period for these assessments (when pressed they said possibly sometime in the next few weeks), that he was not guaranteed a place there regardless and then there might be more assessments and other obstacles that needed to be overcome.

3. We are demanding that if any further assessments need to be made then they need to take place where Caoimh is safe – either at the residence in question or at Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

Thanks J9