EDUCATION MINISTER RUAIRÍ Quinn has said that he was angry that he was misled over who made the decision regarding the site for a location of a primary healthcare centre in Health Minister James Reilly’s constituency.
During Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil on Tuesday, Quinn told the chamber that the decision to locate the primary care centre on the site owned by a developer linked to Fine Gael was made during the previous health minister Mary Harney’s tenure.
It subsequently emerged that the decision was in fact made last year, during James Reilly’s tenure. This information came to light after officials at the Department of Health double-checked it just before James Reilly made a statement to the Dáil on the matter.
“I was told quite clearly that the decision on the location of the site was made by previous Minister for Health Mary Harney. That was wrong,” he told RTÉ’s Today with Pat Kenny.
“I was misled, I was angry that I was misled,” he also told the programme saying: “The information that was given was from Minister Reilly’s personal office and it clearly was wrong”.
The information was that the site in Balbriggan in north Dublin, which was owned by troubled developer and Fine Gael member Seamus Murphy, was chosen before Reilly came to power.
Quinn told the Dáil on Wednesday morning that the site was chosen “by Deputy Mary Harney when she was minister for health” to cheers from the government side of the house. But the information turned out to be incorrect.
In fact the site was identified by the Health Service Executive (HSE) last year. ”I wish they had checked before they told me,” Quinn told Pat Kenny this morning.
On the same programme he said that he was ”very disappointed” with the departure of junior health minister Róisín Shortall.