Gilmore 'regret' on HSE resignation

Thu, Jul 19, 2012, 01:00

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said it is “regrettable” he first heard of Health Service Executive chief Cathal Magee’s resignation from the media and not from within Government.

Mr Gilmore said today that he learned of the news from the media and had spoken to Dr Reilly about the matter subsequently.

The Tánaiste’s party colleague Roisin Shortall, a Minister of State in Dr Reilly’s department, issued a pointed statement on Tuesday expressing regret she had found out though the media and not from the senior Minister in the department.

“It is regrettable that the information leaked out in the way it did,” said Mr Gilmore. “I spoke with James Reilly about it. I am confident it is unlikely it will arise again.”

Mr Gilmore was speaking at a press conference on the jobs action plan with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Richard Bruton.

The relationship between Dr Reilly and the two Labour junior ministers in his Department has come under scrutiny in recent days, amid suggestions that there has been a considerable cooling in recent months.

The Taoiseach maintained that the relationship was a very professional one.

"There's a very strong professional relationship between both parties in government, between the Tánaiste and myself, between the Tánaiste and all the Ministers, and between the Taoiseach and all the Ministers. There's no need for over-reaction," he said.

“The Department and the changes in structures in the health sector are the most difficult facing us. What is important is that it has the best outcomes for patient in the front line.”

On the specific issue of relations between the Minister and the two juniors, he said: ““In any Department you are going to have good days and not so good days.”