April 14, 2022
Scant regard shown for taxpayers’ money by the Department of Health – Mairéad Farrell TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Mairéad Farrell TD has said that scant regard was shown for taxpayers’ money in the handling of the proposed appointment of the Chief Medical Officer to a role at Trinity College Dublin. 

Teachta Farrell said:

“No one could take issue with the service that Dr Tony Holohan has put in as Chief Medical Officer throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“It is disappointing to lose his expertise, and had his appointment to a professorship at Trinity College been done properly, it would have been a good one. 

“However, the lack of transparency around the nature of the position and how it was to be funded has – correctly – meant it cannot proceed.

“Nonetheless, serious questions for the Minister for Health remain around how this debacle was handled; particularly relating to the funding of this position.

“The published review conducted by the Secretary General contends that this was a HR matter, however the Taoiseach has said that it was not and that the government should have been made aware of this proposed appointment – even before the review was published.

“The proposed funding for research at Trinity College according to the review was intended to come from the Health Research Board. 

“However, given they appear to have been unaware that this was the case raises all sorts of questions about the manner in which taxpayers’ money is regarded by the Department. 

“We want answers to those questions.

“It is vital that people can have confidence that there is transparency and due process around how public money is spent.”

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