SF motion calling for HSE chief’s resignation ‘deeply disrespectful’ - Donnelly

‘Sinn Féin has a habit of making the story about themselves. This is about the women,’ Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson said

Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly has described Sinn Féin’s motion calling for the resignation of HSE boss Tony O’Brien as “deeply disrespectful”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly has described Sinn Féin’s motion calling for the resignation of HSE boss Tony O’Brien as “deeply disrespectful”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly has described Sinn Féin’s motion calling for the resignation of HSE boss Tony O’Brien as “deeply disrespectful” to the women affected by the cervical cancer controversy.

“Sinn Féin has a habit of making the story about themselves. This is about the women,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

Mr Donnelly was responding to a question about Fianna Fáil support for a Sinn Féin motion calling for Mr O’Brien’s resignation. He said he had not seen the motion, but had read a Sinn Féin press release which claimed that the non-disclosure of smear test results had led to the deaths of 17 women.

“That was deeply disrespectful. There is not a link between the non-disclosure and the deaths. That’s not what Tony O’Brien must be held to account for.”

Fianna Fáil’s position is that Mr O’Brien should resign “without prejudice”, explained Mr Donnelly.

“There is widespread fury about this.”

“Tony O’Brien was in charge over the years when this pervasive culture of secrecy was allowed.”

Mr Donnelly expressed concern that Mr O’Brien was “becoming the story”. The focus should be on the women involved and on providing answers.

“In the interest of getting this sorted he should leave.

“This is not about Fianna Fáil or Sinn Féin. It’s about the women, that they get the clinical support they need. Everything else is politics and pageantry.”