"Senior Civil Servants Should Consider Their Positions Over The Tony Holohan Debacle - Taoiseach and Health Minister Must Appear Before Finance Committee" - Tóibín
The Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD, a member of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, has today written to the Committee Chairperson, Deputy John McGuinness asking that a request to attend the Committee be issued to the Taoiseach and Minister for Health.
Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said:
"The revelations today from the Secretary General at the Department of an Taoiseach paint a bleak picture of how governmental departments in this country function. In his statement, Mr Fraser has said a number of things. Firstly that he knew for over a month that Mr Holohan was planning a 'secondment' and that there was an expectation of Departmental funding. Furthermore, Mr Fraser has revealed that he decided himself that he supported this proposal because Mr Holohan, he felt 'could make a significant contribution'. Fraser, having expressed his support for the plans, fired the whole thing over to Robert Watt, without discussing it with the Taoiseach. Not only did he not discuss the issue with the Taoiseach, but he has now said that he in fact he did not discuss it with anyone in the Department!"
Deputy Tóibín continued: "Now if I was the Minister for Health or the Taoiseach I'd be very concerned that a civil servant took such a huge decision without consultation with anyone in cabinet. The Minister and the Taoiseach should be in charge of their respective departments, and should expect to be kept informed of these decisions which have implications for the exchequer. Really and truly those involved in this issue need to strongly consider their positions. The Taoiseach and the Minister for Health must come before the Oireachtas Finance Committee and explain why they don't know what's going on in their departments, and to explain who exactly is running the country at the moment? There is a serious issue in government departments where Ministers are mere passengers as opposed to the leaders that they were elected to be and we in Aontú are calling for this culture to be radically changed from within government", concluded Tóibín.