The cervical cancer test controversy arose last month after Limerick woman Vicky Phelan settled her action against a US laboratory. File photograph: Getty Images

Agency tells Dáil committee CervicalCheck ‘assertion does not accord with the facts’

Bus Éireann buses in Dublin. Management at the State-owned transport company is to carry out a review of pay for staff. File photograph: Caroline Quinn/PA Wire

Management at transport firm agrees to carry out salary assessment for employees

Fears have been expressed that spiralling legal costs could lead to the breast cancer screening programme being closed down. File photograph: Getty Images

Programme has saved lives, is performing well and will continue to do so, says Coveney

A file image showing teachers from the INTO, ASTI and TUI protesting before a Government report on pay equalisation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Department estimates it would cost €200m to end two-tier pay structure that affects 60,000

Government-funded scheme receives 15 letters from solicitors in the past two weeks

Medical laboratory scientists said they warned a decade ago that foreign-based cervical smear testing posed risks for patients.

Dr Irene Regan says Irish labs tendered for service scored well expect for cost

Irish laboratories were not able to bid for tenders because 60 laboratory scientists had been deployed to other work, the Medical Laboratory Scientists’ Association will tell the Oireachtas health committee, chaired by Independent TD Michael Harty. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Scientist association says HSE was warned of overseas smear testing dangers 10 years ago

Prof Alan Barrett, director of the ESRI, and  Minister for Transport Shane Ross  at the round table discussion on public transport  held in the  Mansion House, Dublin. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

Scheme would not put State-owned companies on road to privatisation, says Minister

Irish healthcare could be damaged if there is too much focus on a blame game over the cervical cancer controversy, the chief executive of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has warned.

RCSI chief says: ‘I think we should be more circumspect... my fear is a hyper-response’

Minister for Transport Shane Ross  taking a photo with his phone at the roundtable discussion on Public Transport Policy in the Mansion House on Monday morning.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/ The Irish Times

Talks convened by Shane Ross with unions and authorities are under way

John Connaghan apologised on behalf of the HSE and the CervicalCheck programme. Photograph:

Interim head of HSE apologises to women affected by smear test controversy

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys:  said the permits regime was focused on critical skill gaps at the higher end of the labour market. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Ictu fears impact of scheme on existing pay and conditions

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tony Holahan insists Department of Health decision not to escalate ‘reasonable’

Under Simon Harris’ new proposals the HSE board is to be re-established. Here we go again. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Simon Harris’s proposals are just the latest in a never-ending series of reforms

Dr Gabriel Scally, who is carrying out  a scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck screening programme: ‘Some key individuals and organisations are being distracted by the necessity of preparing to appear before committees.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Scally warns of ‘fevered atmosphere’ around cervical screening controversy

An analysis of cumulative pay for staff in each of a group of so-called Section 39 bodies examined found that pay cuts averaging 4.66 per cent were put in place for employees in 2010. Photograph: Jimmy Weldon.

Restoration of pay to workers in voluntary bodies could cost €67.8m, HSE estimates

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Fianna Fáil has criticised him for his absence throughout the CervicalCheck controversy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Board restoration and management review to be part of plan to rebuild public confidence

One of the memos given to PAC members said there was a risk that releasing audit findings to doctors could result in a patient contacting the media if they believed that “screening did not diagnose my cancer”.  File photograph: Getty Images

Interim HSE chief says top management not told of row between doctors and CervicalCheck

Many public service personnel will receive two  1%  pay rises this year as well as an incremental increase as they moved up their scale

Varadkar had suggested money for pay rises could be used to tackle lower pay for newer entrants

Outgoing director-general of the HSE Tony O’Brien. Supporters maintain he brought stability to the HSE in a period of institutional uncertainty, budget cuts and patient service crises. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

HSE director-general’s final months in office marred by multiple controveries

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and Minister for Health Simon Harris during a press conference on the cervical cancer scandal in Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Further accountability needed in cervical screening crisis, says Government

Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris TD during a press conference in Government Buildings on Friday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Taoiseach says State will be on side of women in legal actions and take on outstanding cases

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting on Friday afternoon, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar insisted he first became aware of three memos circulated to HSE management in 2016 on the background to cervical screening audit findings. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Emma Mhic Mhathúna says measures announced for affected women are ‘welcome’ but ‘not enough’

The memos  reveal that one of the cytology laboratories involved in the screening programme had expressed legal concerns about review findings being made known

Emphasis seems to be to shore up confidence in cervical screening programme

Emma Mhic Mhathúna, who was given an incorrect smear test result and who now has terminal cancer. “The Government need to go,” she said. “They’re not actually capable of minding us, and that is their job.” Photograph: Domnick Walsh

Vicky Phelan and Emma Mhic Mhatúna express satisfaction at HSE chief’s exit

Departing HSE chief Tony O’ Brien. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Documents given to members during dramatic six-hour committee hearing

Outgoing HSE Director General Tony O’ Brien

Memo warning of negative media fallout from cervical cancer patients described as ‘game-changer’ by Government Minister

The HSE said there have been 9,766 call-back requests to CervicalCheck while about half of those have received a return call. File photograph: Getty Images

Calls returned after check on records, data quality, and linking with health professionals – HSE

Outgoing HSE  Director General Tony O’ Brien who discussed told Public Accounts Committee he had received a briefing note from national director for health and well-being Stephanie O’Keefe. Photograph: Collins

O’Brien said he was informed audits had not thrown up concerns in relation to quality

Dr Gabriel Scally will lead the inquiry into delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer. “If I find serious problems, I will certainly be pointing to those serious problems,” he says.  Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Three Ministers call for HSE head to step down in relation to accountability for errors

Ciarán Breen (centre), director of the State Claims Agency, arriving at Leinster House for a meeting of the Oireachtas finance committee. Photograph: Tom Honan

State agency says it cannot accept liability for smear tests carried out by US laboratories

Tony O’Brien, director general of the Health Service Executive: role has salary of €192,000 a year. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Temporary Tony O’Brien successor likely to be one of three HSE senior executives

Regina Doherty: Tony O’Brien should be ‘redoubling his efforts’ to get accountability in the wake of the scandal. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

HSE director general should work ‘day in, day out’ to get accountability, Minister says

The Minister for Health Simon Harris had asked the HSE to undertake, as a matter of urgency, an evidence-gathering exercise with Section 39 organisations to establish the position regarding pay reductions and restoration. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Dispute centres on lack of pay restoration for staff in Section 39 bodies

Cervical screening: the Government is to establish its inquiry on Tuesday. Photograph: iStock

Investigation will also examine how much HSE knew about audit-disclosure failures

ASTI members  picketing Rosmini Community College during a recent industrial dispute.  The union  lost about 2,000 members during a recent dispute. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Teachers’ Union of Ireland told it should pay ASTI to make up for loss of members

 HSE director general Tony O’Brien:   the Government has so far resisted calls for him  to resign

Tony O’Brien to step down at beginning of July due to accumulated leave

Mr O’Brien’s contract as director general of the HSE had been due to expire at the end of July.

Tony O’Brien had been due to go at end of July but is taking ‘accumulated leave’

Tony O’Brien, HSE director general: US role would earn him an “annual cash retainer” of $50,000, additional cash fees of $15,000 and initial share-buying options worth $180,000 vesting over a three-year period with further annual options of $90,000.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Simon Harris said he would review consent for HSE director general if conflict of interest


Multimillion euro agreement follows ‘horrific week’ for women in Ireland

Fianna Fáil health spokesman Stephen Donnelly has said HSE director general Tony O’Brien (pictured) “should step back with immediate effect”. He was speaking on behalf of his party when he made his comments. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Political support drains away from HSE director general Tony O’Brien

Position of HSE boss described as ‘tenuous’ as he takes temporary leave from US company

Nearly 2,000 Siptu airport staff are due to vote on a proposed four-year pay deal that would put them in line for a pay rise of 8.5 per cent. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Siptu staff to ballot on proposal which also allows for discussion on future profit sharing arrangements

HSE director general Tony O’Brien with Minister for Health Simon Harris. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Sinn Féin demands accountability from director general before he walks ‘off into the sunset’

Minister for Health Simon Harris met Opposition spokespersons on health yesterday to discuss the shape and the scope of an inquiry into the delayed diagnosis issue. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Scoping exercise’ before Government decides on commission of investigation

HSE director general Tony O’Brien at the  Oireachtas health committee. Image: Oireachtas TV screengrab

Outgoing head of health service says he will spend remaining time in job addressing failings

HSE director general Tony O’Brien became a board member  Evofem Biosciences on January 17th, almost two months before he publicly announced he would be leaving the HSE in August. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

O’Brien received ‘written consent’ to take up role months before finishing at HSE

Vicky Phelan. Photograph: Collins Courts

Revelation raises prospect hundreds more women could find smear tests were misread

Minister for Health Simon Harris was advised that publicity around Vicky Phelan’s High Court case was likely. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Harris tells Dáil many smear tests not included in sample which revealed 208 false negatives

Minister for Health Simon Harris was told in the briefing note about the background to Vicky Phelan’s legal action.

Note suggests women not automatically being told of smear test review results

Minister for Health Simon Harris strongly criticised people working within the health service for failing to pass on important information to their patients. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Cabinet to discuss scope of HIQA inquiry as well as possible redress scheme

Minister for Health Simon Harris speaks to journalists on Monday at Government Buildings about the Cervical Check controversy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Analysis: Timescale needed for introduction of mandatory disclosure of serious incidents

Tony O’Brien (right), head of HSE, has said he would not have gone on television to express a lack of confidence in the management of the cervical cancer screening programme as the Minister for Health Simon Harris did last week. Photograph: Leah Farrell/

Tony O’Brien says he had no knowledge of Vicky Phelan case until he read about it in media

Minister for Health Simon Harris: the Government will hold a statutory inquiry into the CervicalCheck issue.

HSE says 162 women not told of delayed diagnosis

Simon Harris, Minister for Health: A review team established by Mr Harris assessed each of the 206 cases over the weekend. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Several women were not told of the delay in their cancer diagnosis

IPU executive committee member Caitriona O’Riordan said the most immediate risk of illegal medications was the lack of quality control.  File photograph:Jason Clarke

IPU president criticises lack of progress in rolling out proposed healthcare strategy

Simon Harris, in a letter to the HSE’s Tony O’Brien,  said  they both shared the view that a commitment to patient safety and open disclosure were key to the delivery of safe, quality healthcare. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Harris to sign regulations on voluntary open disclosure in health service by end of June

Shay Cody, joint general secretary of Fórsa trade union, arriving for pay talks at the Department of Finance on Friday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Employer group says Ministers must hold firm line on pay even if it means strikes

Speaking at the annual conference of the Irish Pharmacy Union, its president Dara Connolly said ‘it is essential that pharmacists are compensated properly for their time and expertise’  . File photograph: Colm Mahady

IPU conference told of severe risk to the sustainability of community pharmacies

Doreen Doggett and Peg O’Meara from Dublin at the Fórsa conference last weekend. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/ Eye Focus LTD

Isme says Irish public servants among best paid in Europe as talks with unions begin

Vicky Phelan, from Annacotty, Co Limerick,  speaks to the media on leaving the Four Courts  after the announcement of a settlement of her High Court action for damages. Photograph: Collins Courts

Vicky Phelan row: Simon Harris orders review of screening to ensure best practice

Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell: “Our members don’t expect a big bang solution to this issue.” File photograph: Eric Luke

Talks between Government and unions on lower-pay arrangements to start on Friday

Vicky and Jim Phelan from Annacotty, Co Limerick, pictured leaving the Four Courts. The Tánaiste has apologised for a delay in informing Ms Phelan of cervical cancer diagnosis. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Minister for Health orders review of Cervical Check screening programme

Minister for Transport Shane Ross:  to hold a forum on transport policy on May 21st

Review will seek to ensure services are sustainable and meet needs of economy

Shannon group chief executive, Matthew Thomas  (L) and Mark O’Connell of W2 Consulting discussing the new report

Economic impact of Shannon Group put at €3.6bn a year, supporting 46,000 jobs

It is understood the HSE has now informed the Department of Health that the deficit for 2017 was in the region of €170m. Photograph: Getty Images

Hospitals saw surge of 17% in number of patients aged over 75 presenting

Teachers from the INTO, ASTI and TUI protesting before a Government report on pay equalisation. File photograph: Alan Betson

Workers hired since 2011 may receive €3,300 increase on average

Teachers are among those public servants demanding a pay disparity be dealt immediately. Pictured at the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation annual conference earlier this month are Graham Fitzpatrick, Ed Platt, John Paul Phelan and Michael Weed, who are calling for equal pay for all teachers. Photograph: Moya Nolan.

Analysis: Unions want immediate progress on pay rates for staff recruited after 2011

Tom Geraghty, joint general secretary of Fórsa. He  said Ireland’s strengthening exchequer recovery means it is possible to deal with the pay issue earlier. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Government says €200m needed to tackle two-tier pay system not available until 2020

Members of the TUI and the ASTI on picket in 2014. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ictu finds TUI did not act in line with rules in accepting 1,070 teachers as new members

Doreen Doggett and Peg O’Meara from Dublin at the Fórsa conference in Killarney, Co Kerry. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/ Eye Focus Ltd.

Civil servants call for reversal of additional working hours imposed during crisis

At the Fórsa  civil service division delegate conference held in the INEC in Killarney, Co Kerry. Photograph:  Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus Ltd

One civil servant faces having to repay €14,000, while half of those surveyed report pay problems with system

Provisions introduced last year permitted staff to revert to their previous working hours in return for a corresponding proportionate reduction in salary, while a facility was also put in place to convert some leave into flexitime. File photograph: Getty Images

Fórsa says issue of public service pensions settled on foot of additional contributions

Irish Rail said it deferred planned maintenance work on the Cork line at the end of last year. It said this engineering work would take place this year, and other work would be moved to next year

Drivers accept process which allows operation of 10-minute Dart service

Consultants providing treatment to patients under a new Government-funded €50 million initiative to reduce hospital waiting lists will have to be fully-trained specialists. Photograph: iStock

The on-going controversy over non-specialist-doctors in specialist positions has intensified in recent days

Minister for Health Simon Harris said the number of consultants not on the register working in public hospitals is falling. File photograph: Getty Images

New legislation will make licences dependent on consultants completing specialist training

Learner drivers could have to wait more than a year for their tests as demand surges as a result of strict new legislation, the trade union Fórsa has warned.

Fórsa predicts major surge in demand for tests on foot of new Road Traffic Bill

The union said it was in the process of sending a letter to the current Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe about possible strike action. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

‘We spend our careers helping the disadvantaged... but when we retire, we become disadvantaged ourselves’

Union criticises airline over withdrawal from dispute resolution mechanism

Members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association are likely to back a motion calling for a ballot for industrial action

Nurses also want pay parity with therapists working in the health service

The plan will set out how the €50 million, which the Government has allocated to the NTPF this year to reduce waiting lists, will be spent. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill

Number of patients waiting longer than nine months forecast to fall from 22,500 to 12,500

Legislation will  provide more than 14,000 carers with free GP care. Photograph:  Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Measure to be implemented this year subject to legislation – Department of Health

Forsa trade union to demand three days’ leave for members separating or divorcing

INMO says hospital overcrowding now out of control with largest number in Dublin

Incoming IMO president Dr Peadar Gilligan has warned that doctors across the various medical disciplines are facing grave challenges. Photograph: Shane O’Neill

IMO president predict shortage of specialists if Sláintecare proposals are implemented

Simon Harris: ‘We must make real changes to healthcare delivery in order to have a sustainable healthcare system’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

IMO warns medical profession is ‘under attack’ and doctors are ‘sick of so-called reform’

Conference hears some GPs only become aware a patient has been assigned when he or she turns up in their practice.

IMO urges HSE to establish separate service for care of violent or aggressive patients

Delegates at the Irish Medical Organisation’s annaul meeting in Killarney, Co Kerry. Photograph: Shane O’Neill.

Minister says Government wants to spend ‘many millions more’ on general practice

Dr Blánaid Hayes,the dean of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine at the RCPI, speaking at the annual conference of the Irish Medical Organisation. Photograph: Shane O’Neill

IMO conference told burnout is most likely for young women doctors working long hours

Ambulance staff want to be able to retire at the same age as other emergency service workers.

Siptu says paramedics will reject any Government move to raise retirement age

HSE head Tony O’Brien: “If we do nothing ... we face ... an existential crisis in our capacity to provide the healthcare that our population needs.” File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Any reform plan without cross-party support is doomed to fail, claims Tony O’Brien

Incoming IMO president Dr Peadar Gilligan said until the 30 per cent pay cut imposed on consultants was fully addressed “we will have challenges recruiting the almost 500 unfilled consultant posts”. Photograph:  Shane O’Neill

Psychiatrist says antidepressants best used as part of combination treatment

Delegates protest to Minister for Education Richard Bruton for equal pay at the Teachers’ Union of Ireland congress in Wexford on Wednesday. Photograph: Tommy Clancy

Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil say that pay must be restored

TUI President Joanne Irwin has questioned how  teachers can provide alternatives to religious education without extra resources. Photograph: Tommy Clancy

Union concerned no additional resources provided to schools to implement new rules

Minister for Education Richard Bruton pictured on Wednesday at the  ASTI  conference in Cork. He addressed the TUI conference in Wexford on Wednesday. Photograph: Gerard McCarthy

Teachers hold posters calling for ‘equal pay now’ during minister’s speech

Commissioning ceremony of Army, Air Corps and Maltese officers: RACO says terms and conditions of service must be improved.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Representative body claims manpower and skillset levels falling in Defence Forces

Minister for Education Richard Bruton addresses INTO delegates  in Killarney. Photograph: Moya Nolan

Teachers’ unions form united front to demand progress on equal pay

TUI general secretary  John McGabhann: he said  members should tell politicians that neither they nor their families would support any election candidate or party until pay equality for recently-recruited teachers was secured :

Delegate tell TUI conference of earning €7,000 per year less than other colleagues

Pictured at the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation annual conference are Graham Fitzpatrick, Ed Platt, John Paul Phelan and Michael Weed, who are calling for equal pay for all teachers. Photograph: Moya Nolan.

ASTI, TUI, INTO ask Government for pledge by next month on ending two-tier salaries

Annette Dolan, Deputy General Secretary and John MacGabhann, General Secretary at the TUI conference on Tuesday. Photograph: Tommy Clancy

Teachers threaten to pull political support over two-tier pay system

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