Why We Fought Ruth

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From top: Ruth Morrissey and husband Paul arriving at the High Court Dublin in 2018; Leo Varadkar yesterday

This morning.

Today with Sarah McInerney on RTÉ Radio One.

Former Taoiseach and now Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar defended his government’s decision to challenge Ruth Morrissey in court over misreading and misreporting of her cervical smear test.

Sarah Mcinerney: “Do you think she [Ruth Morrissey] should have been dragged through the courts until her dying day?”

Leo Varadkar: “I, I, I think it was, em, of course we all regret that that happened and bear in mind that these were decisions made not just by the laboratories but also the State Claims Agency which acts independently of politicians.

We don’t make these decisions as politicians they are made by the State Claims Agency, em, I, I, look it, I can’t understand the pain and difficulty and suffering she would have gone through and when it all started it was my fervent hope we would be able to settle all these cases by mediation and negotiation and many have been, this was the only case that went to a full hearing.

But sometimes the problem is mediation doesn’t always work…and that happens when there is a dispute about the facts which there was in this case. And I don’t want to go into the details of the case.

Some sections of the case she won, some she didn’t. The judgment in the High Court was slightly different, but it was really sad for her and her family that this became a test case, but it did become a test case, and one thing she achieved is the judgment from the Supreme Court settles all those points…”

Moving.

Previously:  ‘Neither The State Nor The HSE Have Ever Apologised To Her’

Rollingnews

23 thoughts on “Why We Fought Ruth

  1. Joe

    Typical slimy execrable reply from Varadkar, wonder he didn’t spew bull droppings about “hard decisions”

  2. dav

    he should have told the truth and said that they wouldn’t have it any other way, it’s what defines a blushirt health minister

  3. eamonn

    It matters not a jot what comes out by way of excuse/justification from the towers of power.
    Don’t they say when you are explaining, you have already lost it…
    It doesn’t matter how often they say it was right, it seems to me so wrong, so so wrong.
    Not in my name.
    Leo et al Following a well trodden path in the footsteps of traitor noonan.
    You would be right to be surprised if a duck didn’t quack, or a pig grunt ?
    I cannot imagine being a member of Ruth’s family having to hear this self serving nonsense

    1. Vanessanelle

      Worth noting that Fine Gael have never appointed a Woman to the post of Minister for Health

      In fact only four Women have ever held the post
      Eileen Desmond – for about 10 months
      Mary O’Rourke – couple of months
      Mary Harney – back to back terms, about six n’half years
      And Sweary Mary – couple of months also

      1. Cian

        Vanessa: [Congratulating a female Leas Ceann Comhairle]
        “Hon’ de Mná”

        also Vanessa [listing 4 female Ministers]
        “…And Sweary Mary “

        Do you not have enough respect for Mary Coughlan to type out her name?

        1. Rosette of Sirius

          Just curious. How many political parties – and I don’t know the answer to this – appointed actual medical doctors to the position of MoH?

          1. Rosette of Sirius

            That’s what I thought. Surely that notionally – notionally – stands for something.

  4. Broadbag

    An opportunity for him to show some humanity and simply say ”no, it was utterly disgusting and reprehensible and a stain on the State that this happened to this woman” but no, waffle away instead.

    In other news, McInerney is great, probably asking too many uncomfortable questions to be kept on though.

  5. Dr.Fart

    Vicky Phelan tweeted a thread about it, and turns out he’s once again just straight up lying when he said it’s out of politicians hands. The SCA aren’t a rogue agency. He often tries to say Mary Lou is like Trump, and he only says that because he knows how unpopular Trump is so he tries to draw a connection between them, but he’s taken plenty of leafs out of Trumps book. None more so than this tactic of straight up lying. He truly believes himeself to be above everything. He really does. The likes of Rob_G who defend him are very odd. How could anyone find something likeable or honourable in Varadkar? He lies and he’s selfish and narcissistic.

  6. The Old Boy

    This is an outright lie, with a whiff of the Pontius Pilate defence.

    Section 15 of the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2000 makes it clear that the Minister for Finance has the power to issue binding directions to the State Claims Agency.

    1. Pat Mustard

      Can’t be setting a precedent by doing the moral thing. Must warn people off being potential hero’s/martyrs in future.

    2. Cian

      15.—Notwithstanding section 4(4) of the Principal Act, the Minister may give the Agency directions as to general policy, or guidelines, in relation to the performance by it of the functions delegated to, or conferred on, it by or under this Part only after consultation with the Policy Committee and such other Ministers of the Government as the Minister considers appropriate, and the Agency shall comply with any such directions and perform those functions in accordance with any such guidelines.

      IMNAL but isn’t “directions as to general policy, or guidelines” much softer than “binding directions”?

      [edit] *I suppose the “general policy, or guideline” could be ‘don’t bring terminally ill people to court’.

      1. The Old Boy

        Your edited paragraph gets to the heart of it. The wording is designed to prevent Ministers negotiating individual settlements, which in most cases is a good thing and brings more fairness and consistency than the former situation whereby those with the best connections and lobbying clout got the best settlements.

        There are two caveats to this. The first is that the Minister probably has a Constitutional power to intervene where one of his powers has been delegated, regardless of what the statute says (ie the separation of powers and the limited ability of the Oireachtas to mandate the delegation of Executive function or to fetter Executive discretion.)

        The second is that there was a clear policy to pursue this matter through the Courts in order to establish matters relating to liability and it would be perfectly within the wording of Section 15 for the Minister to change that policy to one of non-pursuance and early and generous settlement in relation to this category of cases.

        Just to note, the words “the Policy Committee and” have now been repealed.

      2. The Old Boy

        Addendum (ie I should be shot for forgetting this)

        The HSE, who was the “State” defendant in Ms Morrissey’s case, is not one of the bodies which the Act brings under the ambit of the State Claims Agency. Rather, that was done by Ministerial Order under Section 9 of the Act. It is therefore open to the Minister under Section 9 (1)(b) of the Act to make an Order to “exempt any class of claims against all or any of the State authorities from the delegation effected by the order.”

        So there is yet another possible avenue by which the Minister could have quite properly intervened, by taking direct responsibility for claims against the HSE in relation to CervicalCheck matters.

        1. Cian

          Thanks for that detail.
          Two random thoughts:
          1. Cervical Check was a separate agency when it was formed – so it might have covered by SCA before the HSE was. I’ve no idea if that would make any difference.
          2. Is that how the Cervical Tribunal was to be run?

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