Between Two Ferns


This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin 2 understands three ministers, Katherine Zappone, Michael Ring and Finian McGrath, questioned the merits of standing by Mr [Tony] O’Brien {HSE chief] at today’s Cabinet meeting

And when questioned by the media this afternoon, Mr Harris repeatedly avoided giving a direct answer.

He said there will be a new interim director of the HSE in place by the start of July.

I haven’t done any such thing in terms of expressing or not expressing [confidence],” he said.

Simon Harris refuses to express confidence in HSE boss Tony O’Brien (



Simon Harris criticises ‘disgusting’ abortion posters using his image (Irish Times)




18 thoughts on “Between Two Ferns

  1. realPolithicks

    So he won’t express confidence in O’Brien but won’t fire or ask him to resign. These guys are beyond a joke at this point.

    1. Cian

      Perhaps he is waiting for due process? As in, let’s get the Cervical Check report ASAP – and see what it says. and then, make an informed decision based off that.

      1. realPolithicks

        In most parts of the world when an organization has a massive failure the person at the top of that organization will generally resign on the basis that anything that happens while they are in charge is their responsibility. I realize that in Ireland no one ever takes responsibility for anything but lets face it aside from the this issue, the HSE under the leadership of o’brien has been an unmitigated disaster and frankly he should have been gone a long time ago.

        1. Cian

          Tell me what the “massive failure” was?
          Tell me how “the HSE under the leadership of o’brien has been an unmitigated disaster” (relative to the previous incumbent).

          1. realPolithicks

            Do you have some relationship to this issue or FG or the HSE? You’ve been making excuses for these guys from day one.

          2. Cian

            Again, for the n-th time, I have no connection with any of these.

            I’m just a disgruntled citizen that hates the witch-hunt that follows these issues and obscure the real problems.

            A lot of people seem to treat the HSE like it is an English football club. They think that a new manager will immediately turn it around and make it world-class. And then after half a season are calling for him to be fired, and be replaced with someone else.

            Now I answered your question. Will you answer mine?

          3. realPolithicks

            You’re a gas man Cian, o’brien has been in charge of the hse as either acting or full time DG for almost six years yet you make a comparison to a football manager getting half a season to turn a team around. This is such patent nonsense that it doesn’t deserve a response. As for your original question…google it.

          4. Cian

            @realPolithicks you made an accusation. I asked you to clarify, and you tell me to go google it?

            Yes, I made a comparison to a football team. It might have escaped your attention, but running a national heath service is probably a tiny bit more complex than organising 11 men run around a field, and may take a little longer to get on top of, and make changes that are noticable. But I’ve never done either – so what would I know.

  2. Andrew

    What is it about the HSE that seems to make ministers in charge of it, so powerless and cowed?
    No minister ever seems to make any real progress,reform or improvement.
    Is it a law unto itself? For a department that sucks up practically all revenue from income tax and then barely functions properly; when will someone or some government have the gumption to take them on?
    As it stands the HSE is holding each and every citizen in this country to ransom.

    1. Otis Blue

      In these cases it usually comes down to too many vested interests sucking on the tit.

      Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas

  3. Sheik Yahbouti

    I actually feel sorry for Simon Harris, much as I loathe FG. I think he’s actually a well meaning young chap who wants to do well but has come up against the dead hand of the Civil Service/Status in quo. He has NO chance.

  4. filly buster

    look guys.. maybe he just doesn’t care about people dying. or maybe it makes him squimish because it’s women. he’s no different to any other health minister. he’s just trying to keep his head down and get thru his tenure with as little impact as possible. just leave him be. its the most we could possibly hope for from any minister.

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