Taoiseach has made 330 representations for medical cards

Highest number from Independent TD Seamus Healy who has made 1,323 since 2011

Dr James Reilly, who was Minister for Health for more than three years, has made 315 representations since 2011. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dr James Reilly, who was Minister for Health for more than three years, has made 315 representations since 2011. Photograph: Cyril Byrne


Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former Minister for Health James Reilly have made more than 300 representations each on behalf of constituents in relation to medical cards since 2011, according to new from the Department of Health.

Mr Kenny has made 330 representations over the past 4½ years, while Dr Reilly, who was Minister at the Department for over three years until July 2014, has made 315.

They are both among the top 40 TDs who have made most representations.

Current Minister for Health Leo Varadkar is at number 100 of the 220 parliamentarians, having made 126 representations to the National Medical Card Unit dedicated contact channel.

The disclosure that both Mr Kenny and Mr Reilly made a higher than average number of representations may draw criticism from the Opposition, given that thousands of patients lost their right to discretionary medical cards during 2013 and 2014. The Government reversed the decision following its poor performance in the local elections in the summer of 2014.

The TD who has made the highest number of representations is the Tipperary Independent Seamus Healy who made 1,323, almost double the number of representations made by the second-placed TD, another Tipperary Independent Mattie McGrath, who made 741.

In third place is another Independent Michael Healy-Rae from Kerry, who made 670 representations.

The information was obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs Sean Sherlock. The Cork East Labour Party TD is the fourth in the list with 664. He made the highest number of representations in his own party, one ahead of his Labour Party colleague and Minister for Environment Alan Kelly who made 646 representations.

Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy is the highest-ranked Fianna Fáil member on the list, with 622 representations, while Martin Heydon of Fine Gael, with 599, made more representations than any other Deputy in his party. Other Ministers who made a high number of representations include Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan (436); Minister of State for Sport Michael Ring (398) and Minister of State for Europe Dara Murphy (367).

The table is broken down between calls, emails and letters. Mr Healy made more than 650 calls and sent more than 650 emails but sent no letters. The most frequent letter writers were Barry Cowen of Fianna Fáil (44), Jack Wall of Labour (43) and Mr Sherlock (38).