"How does Tony O'Brien have the neck to stay in the job?" - Cabinet hears calls for HSE boss to resign
Pressed by the opposition, the Taoiseach has once again backed HSE boss Tony O’Brien to see out his last eight weeks in the job.
Several sources have said that three ministers have expressed the view at Cabinet on Tuesday that HSE Director General Tony O'Brien should step down as Director General of the Health Service Executive, in wake of the CervicalCheck controversy.
It's understood that Ministers Finian McGrath (Independent), Michael Ring (FG) and Katherine Zappone (Independent) all expressed the same belief that O'Brien should be removed of his post prior to his planned retirement in eight weeks' time.
O’Brien, who is due to leave the role in July, has been deemed "untouchable" and a member of "the boys' club" by Deputy Mary Lou McDonald in Cabinet on Tuesday.
— Mick Caul 😷 (@caulmick) May 8, 2018
"Taoiseach, the fact that you continue to back Tony O'Brien sends a very negative message to the victims of the CervicalCheck scandal and to the general public," McDonald said.
"Start the process of accountability. Tell us that you have no confidence in Tony O'Brien. Tell him to vacate his post."
Minister for Health Simon Harris has declined to express confidence in O'Brien, with Harris stating that the Director General has around eight more weeks in his position and he should stay in his role until the end of June.
Varadkar has expressed the same interest, stating that O'Brien has eight weeks left to serve, and his focus should be on getting to the bottom of the issue and to put things right.
The Taoiseach continued by saying that the post for a new Director General would be advertised in the next few weeks and added that the board of the HSE would be re-established.
According to the daily HSE report on the CervicalCheck scandal from Monday, 7 May – 198 women or families of the 209 women affected by the scandal have been contacted thus far.
Since 28 April, the HSE CervicalCheck helpline has received over 11,000 calls from worried members of the Irish public.