Reilly interfered on primary care centres, claims FF

Fianna Fáil has accused Health Minister James Reilly of interfering with a decision on the location of primary care centres in favour of his constituency after coalition leaders had signed off on a list of such centres.

Party leader Micheál Martin claimed Enda Kenny previously did not tell the truth to the Dáil about his minister’s role, after the release of new documents.

However, the Taoiseach defended his minister and said Dr Reilly had no role in the adding of Balbriggan and Swords to the list.

Documents released to Fianna Fáil show the minister decided to develop the two centres as public private partnership (PPP) schemes, although a price had been agreed for a commercial lease on a site at Balbriggan.

Mr Martin argued Dr Reilly also made changes to the list after Jul 16 after the Taoiseach and Tánaiste had signed off on the list, according to the files.

“Is it right that a minister should interfere in such a manner in the commercial arrangement which confers benefit on private sector stakeholders because the PPP model is a much more bankable proposition than the lease model?”

Fianna Fáil says files show the list of 33 locations for centres was signed off by the Mr Kenny and Mr Gilmore on Jul 13, but did not include Balbriggan and Swords. However, by Jul 16, there was a flurry of e-mails between Dr Reilly’s office and the Department of Health and others, the night before a Cabinet meeting. By 6.22pm that day, both areas were on the list.


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