Tag Archives: Simon Harris

This morning/afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2

Leafers of the Labour Party and Sinn Féin take to the plinth to discuss the no confidence motion in Minister for Health Simon Harris, tabled by Sinn Féin and now supported by Labour. From top: Labour’s Brendan Howlin with Senator Kevin Humphreys (L) and Senator Ged Nash; Mary Lou McDonald.

Fight, etc.

Labour to support motion of no-confidence in Simon Harris (RTÉ)


Mr Harris is expected to apologise to the Dáil later over the answers he gave to the house last year about the projected cost of the hospital.

It is expected that Mr Harris will tell the Dáil that he wishes he had told TDs a little more when they asked him about the cost of the children’s hospital last September.

Back then, the minister had seen documents suggesting the price was escalating, but he gave no hint of that in his answers.

Decent quiffage, in fairness.

Simon Harris focused on job as Cabinet discusses hospital costs (RTE)

Last night: Climbdown


Members and supporters of the irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) march in Dublin on Saturday

This morning.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is due to hold three consecutive days of strike action from Tuesday to Thursday. It has already held three 24-hour strikes in its row over pay and recruitment and retention of nurses.

The talks broke up at 3.30am and by that stage the unions, health management, and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform had briefed the court on their positions for three days.

Labour Court to decide on nurses’ strike intervention (RTÉ)


Sinn Féin Deputy Mary Lou McDonald and Minister for Health Simon Harris

Sinn Féin Party leader Mary Lou McDonald confirmed this morning that the party will publish a no confidence motion in Harris, after the party strongly hinted that it would do so over the weekend.

Sinn Féin to table no confidence motion in Simon Harris (Breakingnews.ie)

Yesterday: Meanwhile, In Wicklow

The Meaning Of Trapped

Saturday: Marching With Nurses And Midwives

This afternoon.

Members of ‘Fingal Battalion Direct Action’ stage a small protest outside the County Wicklow home of Minister for Health Simon Harris before being peacefully moved on by two members of An Garda Síochána.

Polite, respectful and good humoured.




New-born BABY!

Did they miss MASS?

Film at 11.

Fingal Direct Action (Facebook)

Thanks Vanessa

Minister for health Simon Harris

There you go now.


Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has written to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin asking him to make clear whether his party has confidence in the Minister for Health and whether his party would support a no-confidence motion.

Ms McDonald wrote that Simon Harris’s position is untenable in a letter seen by RTÉ News.

McDonald asks for Fianna Fáil to clarify support for Harris over hospital (RTÉ)

Earlier: Abysmal


 Minister for Health Simon Harris appearing at a Health Committee meeting this morning

This morning.

Streaming live here.

More as we get it.

Pic via Rollingnews

Could a civil servant have alerted Simon Harris of cost overruns? (Irish Examiner)

Previously: Well Warned


RTÉ’s Caitriona Perry and Minister for Health Simon Harris on RTÉ’s Six One last night

Last night.

On RTÉ’s Six One.

Caitriona Perry interviewed the Minister for Health Simon Harris about the overrun at the National Children’s Hospital.

She pointed out he first learned about the cost overrun last August, the scale of the overrun last November November and that he won’t take any action until he receives a €450,000 report from PwC which is due to be finished by March of this year.

They had the following exchange:

Caitriona Perry: “Is that good enough or did you take your eye off the ball here?”

Simon Harris: “No, of course, I should be held accountable for the decision that I made when I advised the Government that we needed to proceed with this project.”


Perry: “…It’s such an important project, you said yourself there for the children of this country. Why did it take from August until November for you to find out about the scale of the overruns?”

Harris: “So at the end of August, it became apparent that there was going to be a significant overrun but my department, as indeed as a Government minister, we did what we’re actually meant to do. We did due diligence. There were a number of expert reports commissioned. And ultimately the body that’s responsible for delivering the hospital – the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board – came back on the 9th of November with the scale of the overrun being clear.”

Perry:Should you not have been demanding, day in day out, that someone tell you just how much this project was going over by?”

Harris: “I was very determined and confident that we had professionals in place to deliver this project. The board delivering the project is a ‘who’s who’ when it comes to construction and procurement issues. So I think actually the job of the minister is to put people in place, who have the professional skills to deliver a project.

It’s also the job of a minister then, when challenges emerge, to make tough decisions. And the decision to proceed with this project was a tough one because of the scale of the cost. But I have no doubt the only decision I would have regretted was if I didn’t proceed with it.”

Mr Harris went on to say that he and his department were “seeking constant updates” while his Secretary General [Jim Breslin] is chairing a steering group on the matter – the Children’s Hospital Project and Programme steering group.

Watch back in full here


Illustration by Gary Reddin, from Sligo.

Gary Reddin (Facebook)

Previously: Gary Reddin on Broadsheet

Thanks Gary

Minister for Health Simon Harris

When questioned by your paper about the massive cost increase for the new children’s hospital, Minister for Health Simon Harris wasted no time in taking the high moral ground and stating that he “will make no apology for extending our children’s care”.

With the decision today of 95 per cent of the members of the INMO to strike for a pay increase, is he therefore qualifying that statement by adding, “so long as I don’t have to pay staff”?

Regrettably, the Minister is all too quick to avoid any effort to provide justification to the taxpayers of this country for the out-of-control situation with the new hospital project.

Why does he provide a blank cheque to the hospital project while at the same time telling us that he cannot afford to pay the very people needed to operate such hospitals? He’ll stand over any cost – except nursing cost – really?

T Gerard Bennett,
Co Westmeath.

Paying nurses and the INMO strike (The Irish Times letters page)


From top: Minister for Health Simon Harris; CervicalCheck logo

A private meeting arranged on November 16 and scheduled to be held this afternoon between Minister for Health Simon Harris and members of the 221+ support group for women and families affected by the CervicalCheck scandal was cancelled last night at around 8pm.

In a statement, the minister’s office said:

“The minister wants to offer his sincere apologies for the short notice for and indeed for having to postpone this very important meeting, unavoidable due to the significant time commitment required for the passage of legislation on the Termination of Pregnancy Bill in the Seanad. He is required to be in the Seanad all afternoon and this evening up to 10pm.”

Several women affected spoke to Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline this afternoon.

One woman Áine, whose sister Orla is very ill and in hospital with cervical cancer, said this is the second time the minister had cancelled or postponed a meeting with Orla or a relative.

She said the first meeting was scheduled for October 18 but this was also cancelled last minute and no meeting has been arranged since.

Another woman Mairead said when the Scally report was released three months ago, the women were told they would have a meeting with the minister. She said the meeting scheduled for today was the first meeting arranged since then.

Another woman Marie, who also has cervical cancer and who is a HSE nurse, said she’s “absolutely disgusted” over the manner in which the meeting was cancelled and that it’s “diabolical” the way they’ve been treated. She said:

First of all, he told us at 5pm, he was only going to give us one hour and then at five to eight, said it was cancelled.

Marie said the women who were going to attend the meeting had already prepared their questions for the minister and they had already been sent to him.

She said the women were also prepared to meet the minister for just one hour. She also said they would have been prepared to meet Mr Harris in Leinster House if that

would have made things easier for him.

She added:

“My slides have not been released to me. Parts of my body have not been released to me. It’s disgusting the way we’re being treated. I’m livid at this stage.”

Marie, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016, found out in May 2018, while having a routine smear test, that she was one of the women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal.

She said she was told that two of her smears had been misread in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

Asked if she which lab misread her smears, she said:

I don’t know anything because no information has been released to me and I’m not alone in that.”

Marie added that the minister didn’t want the meeting to be made public, to protect the women’s privacy issues.

She said:

“We kept our part of that deal, and this has happened now. It’s infuriating.”

Another woman said:

“We’re exploited because, as we do want to remain anonymous and maintain our privacy, so we’re an easy target, we’re easy to let down.”

Listen back in full here


The Health Minister Simon Harris has published the Implementation Plan for the recommendations of the Scally Report on the CervicalCheck Screening Programme.

It sets out 126 actions across areas including women’s health, organisation and governance, laboratory services and procurement, open disclosure, cancer registration, other screening programmes and resolution.

Health Minister publishes Implementation Plan for CervicalCheck recommendations (Breakingnews)

Previously: CervicalCheck on Broadsheet