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HSE boss Tony O'Brien to leave position early

There had been calls for O’Brien to step down.

Image: Mark Stedman via RollingNews.ie

HSE DIRECTOR GENERAL Tony O’Brien is to leave his role at the beginning of July, it emerged today.

O’Brien, who has been at the centre of the cervical check scandal, will step down four weeks earlier than expected.

Junior Health Minister Jim Daly told RTÉ’s The Week in Politics that O’Brien’s leaving was not down to the scandal but was instead due to him using up his annual leave entitlements.

On Friday, Sinn Féin published its motion of no confidence in O’Brien. In addition, Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly said that his party is also calling on him to resign with immediate effect.

The HSE confirmed this week that 17 women whose cases were reviewed as part of an audit into the CervicalCheck controversy have died. It has not been determined if their deaths were due to delayed diagnoses. These women were among 208 whose original smear test results differed when reviewed again.

The woman whose case brought this scandal to light, Vicky Phelan, has already singled out O’Brien and said that he should resign. Last week she was awarded €2.5 million over incorrect smear test results from 2011.

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