Balbriggan site 'chosen by Harney'


The site for the primary healthcare centre in Balbriggan, in the Dublin North constituency of Dr James Reilly, was chosen by former minister for health Mary Harney.

This was revealed in the Dáil today by Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn, who was standing in at Opposition leaders’ questions for Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

He was replying to Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher, who referred to a report that a supporter of the Minister for Health owned the site. Mr Kelleher challenged Mr Quinn to say if he was comfortable with the fact that his Labour colleague, former Minister of State Róisín Shortall, had resigned because she had failed to get support in trying to get to the bottom of the issue.

“Minister Reilly has conferred financial and commercial gain on individuals that he has political ties with," he added.

Mr Quinn said: “Deputy Kelleher has attempted to use the protection of this House to suggest that there was some financial impropriety in conferring financial advantage on a political supporter.

“Can I tell you, Deputy Kelleher, that the site in question was selected by Deputy Mary Harney when she was minister for health.’’

Dr Reilly is to answer a special notice question on the matter later today.

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