McDonald welcomes O’Brien resignation

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has welcomed the news that Tony O’Brien is to resign as Director General of the HSE tomorrow.

Teachta McDonald said;

“Tony O’Brien’s resignation is a necessary first step in achieving accountability for this scandal.

“It is regrettable that it ultimately took terminally ill women taking to the national airwaves to demand that Mr O’Brien be held to account in order to secure his resignation.

“The process of accountability must now continue. We need to see full disclosure of all the relevant information. We need to know who knew what and when they knew it. There must be a thorough investigation of the policy of concealment and cover up strategy. Also, concrete explanations must be provided regarding the decision to outsource the screening process in 2008 and why legitimate criticisms of this decision were ignored.

“The scoping exercise must move forward in a comprehensive and effective way as time is of the essence.

“We need all of this to happen in order to begin rebuilding full confidence in the screening programme. Women must know that they can trust the results of their smear tests. I want to again emphasise the importance of women continuing to have their smear tests.

“Our thoughts this evening are with the affected women and their families. We recognise the courage that many have demonstrated in speaking up in order to protect other women. We owe it to these women to get to the bottom of this scandal and to ensure that this can never happen again. That is the very least they deserve.”