Carthy demands that those behind Health dossiers are held accountable
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, participated in the Dáil on revelations that the Department of Health has been collecting dossiers on the families of children with autism.
He a hard-hitting contribution Deputy Carthy demanded that those who signed off on the practice be held accountable.
“The practise of the Department of Health in compiling dossiers and information about children with disabilities was vile and obscene.
The Junior Minister, Anne Rabbitte, said that she was not aware of this practice. I would like clarification as to whether the Minister for Health, Deputy Donnelly, was made aware of this practice or if any previous Minister for Health was been made aware of it.
“If it is the case that all respond that they were not aware of it, there are fundamental questions that need to be answered in regard to how this could happen. How could a practice that crosses so many elements of government carry on without Ministers not being aware of it?
“This goes to the heart of what I will call “the State” and how it operates. We know that if a Minister signed off on this and it was proven that he or she had given the go-ahead to officials to fulfil this practice, there would be a motion of no confidence before the Dáil and it is quite likely that before that motion reached the House, such a Minister would be asked to fall on his or her sword for political expediency.
“It would be quite proper for that to happen.
“It is fair to say that the one thing we can know for sure about this issue is that, by the end of the process, there will not be a single civil servant made accountable for his or her actions in regard to these despicable events. We must ask why that is the case.
“The HSE was set up by the then Minister for Health, now Taoiseach, in part to allow political responsibility to be avoided. It allows the Government to say that a particular issue is nothing to do with it and is a matter for the HSE. In this instance, we are told it is nothing to do with the Government; it was done by civil servants in the Department of Health. Why is that being allowed to happen?
“Will the government now ensure that somebody is at least named and shamed, and made accountable for his or her actions?
“There is a great deal of talk about working out when we can engage with the families. Will the government ensure that, from today, all of the families that are affected are contacted and are told, at the very least, that their information was part of this and they will be contacted again with further details? It is not something that should take a long time to do.
“I would hazard a guess that the information is in the Department right now and I ask that the government release it to the families concerned. It is the very least they should expect.”