Awkward: Ministers get stuck in lift

Minister for Health James Reilly smiles as two Department of Health officials attempt to open the door of a lift in which they became stuck at a mental health facility on the old Grangegorman site in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/Irish Times

Minister for Health James Reilly smiles as two Department of Health officials attempt to open the door of a lift in which they became stuck at a mental health facility on the old Grangegorman site in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/Irish Times

Thu, Feb 28, 2013, 00:00

The day after the Department of Health announced it was scrapping disabled mobility allowances, Minister for Health James Reilly experienced some mobility issues of his own.

While touring the brand new, state-of-the-art mental health facility on the old Grangegorman site in Dublin today, Dr Reilly and his lieutenant, Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, found themselves trapped when their lift jammed.

Waiting hacks and photographers rushed to the lobby where a hospital official was busy attempting to pry open the doors and free the stricken Ministers along with the couple of unlucky journalists in there with them.

Other photographers bounded up the stairs hoping to get a snap of the flustered party exiting the elevator, but quickly retreated after some nice gentlemen impeded their way.

After 20 minutes or so a technician brought the ordeal to an end and Dr Reilly and Ms Lynch were able to continue with their tour.

Later, as she invited Dr Reilly to say a few words, HSE official Anne O’Connor described the incident as a “brief involuntary detention”, the Minister said he simply wanted to know “who is responsible for the lift?"