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Written Answers. - Tribunals of Inquiry.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 317. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  asked the Minister for Health and Children Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin  when he expects the Director of Public Prosecutions to make a decision regarding whether there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to proceed with a prosecution with reference to the report of the Lindsay tribunal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24655/02]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin My officials sent the Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into Infection with HIV and Hepatitis C of Persons with Haemophilia and Related Matters to the Director of Prosecutions on 31 October and I understand that the Director of Public Prosecutions is still considering the report.

 318. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  asked the Minister for Health and Children Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin  if the Government supports the establishment of an inquiry into the role of pharmaceutical companies in the contamination of blood products; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24656/02]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Late last year, I appointed Mr. Paul Gardiner, senior counsel, to advise on what steps are open to the State to mount an effective investigation into the actions of the multinational pharmaceutical companies whose products were implicated in the HIV and Hepatitis C infection of persons with haemophilia. As part of his investigations Mr. Gardiner liaised with the solicitors acting for the Irish Haemophilia Society. He travelled to the United States and consulted a number of relevant experts. Mr. Gardiner also received legal advice from a major New York law firm.

Mr. Gardiner furnished his report to me in March 2002. A copy of Mr. Gardiner's report was furnished to the Irish Haemophilia Society and I have discussed the matter with representatives of the Society.

I had a further consultation with Mr. Gardiner recently and, notwithstanding the difficulties that have been identified, I believe it would be possible to mount a useful investigation which would allow access to publicly available material and to persons and bodies willing to co-operate. I will meet the Irish Haemophilia Society within the next few weeks to discuss the format of a new investigation.


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