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Thursday 23 March 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Leon Farrell/
# Cabinet
Attorney General due to deliver report to Cabinet on State’s strategy on nursing home charges
The report is expected to be published afterwards.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL is due to provide a report to Cabinet today on a legal strategy in relation to people who were entitled to nursing home care provided by the State decades ago.

It comes after the Irish Mail on Sunday last month reported a whistle-blower’s claims of a secret government strategy to limit pay-outs to people on medical cards – who would have been entitled to nursing home care provided by the State – by settling cases out of court.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has argued that coverage of the strategy has been misrepresented and related to residents in private nursing homes rather all public residents.

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday last week, Varadkar said that he had not been the Health Minister involved in agreeing the legal strategy and that it had been previously agreed in 2014.

It comes after a Government spokesperson on Tuesday said that Varadkar had not renewed the agreement, following correspondence between the Department of Health and the Department of an Taoiseach.

It is the clear understanding of the Unit that this does not refer to Minister Varadkar, as was, but refers to a previous Minister, as this decision in relation to the range of settlements was apparently made well before his time,” the spokesperson said.

Varadkar said on Tuesday that he was unaware if he had been asked to sign off on a continuation of the policy while he was Health Minister, but said that he would have.

“I don’t specifically know if I was asked to sign off on it being continued but if I had been asked deputy, I would have,” Varadkar said, in response to Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

“This was a sound policy approach and a legitimate legal strategy by the government at the time.

“All ministers from 2005 onwards at all times acted in good faith, in the public interest, in accordance with official advice and in accordance with legal advice from the Attorney General and that’s exactly how they should act.”

Varadkar said that Health Minister Stephen Donnelly had sought advice from the Attorney General as well as a briefing from Department officials.

He added that the Attorney General would be providing a report for Cabinet today on the legal strategy, which would be published afterwards. 

With reporting by Eoghan Dalton and Press Association

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