Minister says he ‘regrets’ mass resignation of Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal

Paschal Donohoe tells Oireachtas committee he hopes to have new board in place by April

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said he regrets the mass resignation of the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal and that he hopes to have a new board in place by April.

The issue was raised at the Oireachtas committee on finance by Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty.

The board was tasked with handling appeals by people who are refused primary medical certificates that make them eligible for tax reliefs on vehicles for people with disabilities.

Earlier this month RTÉ reported on the resignation of the entire board, outlining how it had been expressing concern that the criteria to qualify for the primary medical certificates were too strict.


Mr Donohoe said he got notifications of the resignations in October and November 2021.

Mr Doherty said the board had met with Mr Donohoe in March 2021 and he asked what they discussed.

Mr Donohoe said the board had expressed dissatisfaction with the system in place and he indicated that he was willing to reassess the scheme and the access criteria.

He said that work is now part of a broader Department of Health review of disability services. Mr Donohoe said a meeting of the review group took place on Wednesday.

Mr Doherty said this meeting took place nine months after the board indicated they were dissatisfied and “given that they saw nothing happen . . . they resigned en masse”.

Mr Donohoe said that “I very much regret that the board did resign” and that getting the review up and running has taken “some more time to do than I would have hoped”.

He said he will do all he can to facilitate a new board being put in place and to have the relevant part of the review completed as speedily as possible.

Mr Donohoe said the board positions are expected to be advertised in the coming days and “we will do our best to try and get a new board in place across March or into April”.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times