Tag Archives: Leo Varadkar

This afternoon.

National Ambulance Service,  Tallaght, Dublin.

Launch of the Your Mental Health Information Line Taoiseach. Leo Varadkar takes his own pulse at the launch of the Your Mental Health Information Line.

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

Meanwhile

Mr Varadkar Joined by Minister for Health Simon Harris.

Kate O’Connell (out of picture).

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

Moments ago.

In the Dáil during Leaders’ Questions.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told Fianna Fáil Mícheál Martin that his “self-righteousness knows no limits”.

It followed Mr Martin raising concerns about hospital overcrowding and the number of patients on hospital trolleys.

In response, Mr Varadkar reminded Mr Martin of his record as Minister for Health and told him “you should be off your high horse when it comes to this one”.

Sigh.

649 patients waiting for beds in Irish hospitals (Breaking News)

Related: Healthcare chief apologises as images emerge of psychiatric patients sleeping on floor (Catherine Shanahan, Irish Examiner, November 1, 2019)

This afternoon.

Outside Leinster House.

Members and supporters of Extinction Rebellion hold a protest in response to comments about climate change made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the launch of the government’s first progress report on its Climate Action Plan last Thursday.

Yesterday the Sunday Business Post reported that Mr Varadkar said:

“One thing that we definitely face as a result of climate change is warmer winters. We’re already experiencing warmer winters, and that actually means using less energy because it’s warmer and people need less heating, and it also means fewer deaths as a result of cold weather.

“It’s interesting that when you do look at those things, that there is a ledger, and there are benefits and there are downsides. The downsides outweigh the benefits but we need to be aware of them too.”

Meanwhile…

The group tweetz:

“… let’s take a look at Leo Varadkar’s ledger.”

Fewer deaths and warmer winters due to climate change: Varadkar (Aiden Corkery, Sunday Business Post)

Pic: Extinction Rebellion Ireland

This morning.

A letter to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, signed by more than 1,000 people, has been published on page three of The Irish Times.

In the letter, the signatories are calling for a “new conversation” about the constitutional future of the island of Ireland.

Over 1,000 sign ‘new conversation’ open letter to Taoiseach (The Irish Times)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

This lunchtime.

RTÉ reports:

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has ruled out holding a general election before Christmas.

It is understood that at a meeting with Fine Gael ministers this morning, Mr Varadkar told colleagues that this would not be in the best interest of the country given that Brexit remains unresolved.

The issue was raised by the Taoiseach himself following speculation in recent days about the timing of an election.

Taoiseach rules out pre-Christmas general election (RTÉ)

Earlier: “This Is About A Very Small Number Of Fine Gael Ministers Wanting To Get Out Of Their Current Job”

Rollingnews

Health Minister Simon Harris; Lorraine Walsh, Stephen Teap and Vicky Phelan surrounded by some of the 221 cervical cancer patients affected by the CervicalCheck scandal outside Leinster House yesterday

Earlier this morning.

Morning Ireland‘s Audrey Carville asked Health Minister Simon Harris about the apology Taoiseach Leo Varadkar delivered in the Dáil yesterday to those affected by the CervicalCheck scandal.

Mr Varadkar had apologised for the “humiliation, the disrespect and deceit” caused to those affected.

Ms Carville also asked him about the forthcoming Patient Safety Bill.

From their discussion.

Audrey Carville: “What was deceitful about what took place?”

Simon Harris: “Quite frankly, I think the concealment of information from women. Deceit refers to having information and not telling people.”

Carville: “And do you believe that was deliberate?”

Harris: “You know what I’m actually not sure it was deliberate. It sounds to me more like a situation whereby they intended to disclose and then, as we all know, Dr Scally reports there was a complete and utter litany of failures in terms of closing that loop.

“But regardless of the deliberate nature or not, it was extremely hurtful and extremely painful…”

Carville:But that’s what deceit is, isn’t it? It’s intent.”

Harris:I think it often does involve intent. But, certainly, what the Taoiseach’s words yesterday were, were a reflection of how the women and their families felt. And they certainly felt deceived and I can fully understand why they did.”

Carville:What do you believe was the most scandalous element of what took place?”

Harris: “I genuinely think the non-disclosure. I mean audit is a good thing, we should be auditing and checking and making our systems better and making our screening service better but the idea that you would set up an audit that intended to disclose and then not disclose, and then add insult to injury, and I don’t wish to open, you know, old wounds here. I know it’s been a very, very painful time for so many people.

“But people have been really, really hurt and certainly in my own statement yesterday to the Dáil, I made the point that, you know, partial information, having to be drip-fed into the public domain because all of the facts weren’t there added insult to injury and worried people well beyond the 221+ group. Women were looking to me and others for reassurance that quite frankly we weren’t in a position to give them. And so, for that, I’m very sorry.”

Carville: “So it all centred on the women not being told and as part of his speech to the Dáil yesterday, Leo Varadkar said there is no information about a patient that a patient shouldn’t know. And yet, in the Patient Safety Bill, for which we were told full, mandatory disclosure was going to be part of, you talked about it, almost as soon as the Vicky Phelan case was complete 18 months ago. There are going to be exceptions to that?

Harris: “Well, I’m going to work with the Oireachtas to identify what those are. I mean there’s a very big difference, as I think everybody listening will appreciate, between mandatory disclosure of a serious reportable incident and between the day-to-day issues that can arise at a hospital.

“Like between maybe, you know, the food not being adequate and the like. That’s a very different situation to the very serious issues.”

Carville: “But is the option of not telling a patient about a mishap or an error – will there be that option in the Patient Safety Bill?

Harris:Absolutely not and I thank you for asking me the question because it’s important to give that assurance. I mean serious reportable events will refer to anytime, anything went wrong in relation to your care. Anytime there is information known about your well being that obviously has to be shared with you so we will bring, I will bring the full Patient Safety Bill to Cabinet next month…”

Apology ‘a reflection’ of how women felt – Harris (RTÉ)

Listen back in full here

From top: Minister for Health Simon Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil yesterday.

Earlier this morning.

Health Minister Simon Harris spoke to broadcaster Audrey Carville on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland about the Dáil voting controversy.

It follows reports in the Irish Independent this morning that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar voted for colleagues in the Dáil chamber, while the colleagues were in the chamber.

A spokesman for Mr Varadkar said he never voted for anyone who was absent from the chamber.

From the interview…

Audrey Carville: “Just finally, our political correspondent reporting this morning that the Taoiseach has confirmed he voted for colleagues who were in the Dáil chamber but who weren’t in their seats. Did you ever do that?”

Simon Harris: “You know I’ve been in the Dáil nearly nine years and voted thousands of times and I don’t recall a specific time I did it but I’m not ruling it out because the rules do allow it and I think what we’ve seen is, it has become quite commonplace. But there is a huge difference.

“There’s been a very, very successful job done to muddy the waters in recent days here. There’s a very big difference between doing that and breaching the constitution of Ireland.

“The constitution says you must be present in the Dáil chamber.

“We know Timmy Dooley wasn’t present. We know Niall Collins voted when he wasn’t present. We know Lisa Chambers voted for someone who wasn’t present.

“There has been no evidence…and this, by the way, wasn’t started by Fine Gael. This was investigative journalism by the Irish Independent that showed Fianna Fáil TDs, in my view, breaching the constitution.

“And tomorrow we’ll have the Ceann Comhairle’s report. I’ve full confidence in his ability to get to the bottom of this. We need to tighten up this thing of, you know, voting and seats, I fully agree with that.

“But that shouldn’t be allowed to distract from people, you know, heading out the M8 down to Clare while somebody else stays in the Dáil and votes six times for them. We’re legislators, you turn up, you do your job and you vote.

“And if you can’t vote, if you’re busy or you’ve something on, you certainly don’t ask your buddy to press the button for you.”

Carville: “Thank you very much, indeed, Health Minister Simon Harris in our Dáil studio.”

Varadkar admits he has voted for colleagues who were in chamber (Cormac Quinn, Irish Independent)

Meanwhile

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin

This morning.

Via Independent.ie:

The instance where a vote was cast for Mr Martin in his absence happened during a Dáil debate on reducing the number of seats in the EU Parliament in February. Mr Martin is recorded as not being present for two of the three votes on the legislation. However, for the last and final vote the Fianna Fail leader’s vote is recorded as being present.

for the third and final vote, Mr O’Brien is not recorded as voting in his own seat. Mr O’Brien last night admitted he may have incorrectly pressed Mr Martin’s voting button during at the end of the debate.

Vote cast for Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin when he was not in the Dáil chamber (Independent.ie)

Rollingnews