All former Health Ministers in cabinet currently must answer questions in the Dáil
Full independent and transparent investigation of all aspect of secret file gathering
People Before Profit have said that the revelations uncovered by RTÉ Investigates about the Department of Health gathering files on children and families with autism are “shocking and terrifying” and that full accountability and transparency is needed.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, a member of the business committee, has written to the committee requesting that all members of the cabinet, who at one stage held the health brief, come before the Dáil to make statements and take questions on their knowledge of the scandal.
They said that the families on whom files were kept should be contacted immediately by the Minister for Health.
The party also called for a fully independent inquiry into all aspects of the scandal, including ascertaining whether other government departments were involved and what officials and politicians were aware of and sanctioned these actions.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “The shocking revelations that the Department of Health appears to have been gathering secret files on some of the most vulnerable children and their families in order to defend themselves against potential legal action is truly sinister and terrifying. This is the sort of deep state activity you would except from an authoritarian regime, rather than a progressive democracy.
“It is bad enough that thousands of children with disabilities are denied their basic human rights- assessments, services and supports they need. But to compound that failure by gathering files on them with a view to legal action is truly shameful.
“Tragically this is not surprising from the same Department that gave us the Cervical Check scandal and the Hep C scandal.
Health spokesperson Gino Kenny TD said: “The revelations contained in the RTÉ Investigates report were scandalous and terrifying. The fact that the Department of Health engage this type of practice is deeply shocking.
“Serious questions need to be asked of the current and former Sec Gen’s of the Department of Health. They need to come before the Health Committee.
“The Health Committee has also written to Minister Donnelly calling on him to share the report by the special legal counsel with the committee.”