Taoiseach defends relationship with chair of firm that HSE chief has joined

Varadkar backs Minister’s consent granted to O’Brien to take up board role at US firm

Tony O’Brien, director-general of the HSE, arriving  for a meeting of the Joint Committee on Health, on issues  surrounding the CervicalCheck Programme, at Leinster House on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tony O’Brien, director-general of the HSE, arriving for a meeting of the Joint Committee on Health, on issues surrounding the CervicalCheck Programme, at Leinster House on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended his relationship with the chairman of the Mater Hospital, who chairs the board of a US firm that HSE director-general Tony O’Brien joined in January.

Mr Varadkar also supported the decision of Minister for Health Simon Harris to give permission to Mr O’Brien to become a non-executive director of the San Diego-based contraceptive manufacturer Evofem Biosciences while Mr O’Brien continues to run the national health service.

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