Tony O’Brien hits out at Public Accounts Committee following resignation from the HSE 4 years ago

Tony O’Brien hits out at Public Accounts Committee following resignation from the HSE

“I sometimes look across the room and hope their children will never see and hear how they behave.”

Tony O’Brien has hit out at the conduct of the Public Accounts Committee that met to discuss the implications of the CervicalCheck revelations on Thursday.

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O’Brien confirmed his resignation as Director General of the HSE on Thursday evening after the Public Accounts Committee met earlier in the day to discuss the CervicalCheck revelations that have caused a public outcry in recent weeks.

Three HSE memos from 2016 that were seen by O'Brien were discussed at the Committee meeting, memos which the Department of Health claims were not seen by any Health ministers.

Having confirmed his resignation from the position on Thursday evening, O’Brien posted on Twitter on Friday morning to take aim at the conduct of the Committee, saying: “When I appear in public - say at a Committee I conduct myself against a simple standard.

“Would I be happy for my children or my mother to see how I behave? I sometimes look across the room and hope their children will never see and hear how they behave.”

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O’Brien’s resignation on Thursday evening came just days after he signalled his intention to remain on as Director General of the HSE until July to focus on the cervical cancer issue.

O’Brien’s intention to stay in the job was backed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, despite calls by Cabinet for him to resign with immediate effect.

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Following revelations by Vicky Phelan, who initially brought the CervicalCheck scandal into the public eye, another woman affected, mother-of-five Emma Mhic Mathuna, conducted a powerful interview with Morning Ireland on Thursday in which she revealed that she was diagnosed with cervical cancer three years after she had been told, incorrectly, that her smear test was clear in 2013.

"What makes this situation so sick is that the government aren't doing anything about it," she said.

"The government are not actually capable of minding us and that's their job, to make sure we're OK. I'm dying when I don't need to die."