Enda Kenny says Health Minister James Reilly has no conflict of interest

Tuesday 25 September 2012 23.36
Enda Kenny rejected Sinn Féin's assertion that Minister Reilly has a conflict of interest
Enda Kenny rejected Sinn Féin's assertion that Minister Reilly has a conflict of interest

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has defended Health Minister James Reilly from Opposition criticisms and allegations of conflict of interest.

Mr Kenny said Mr Reilly had given an account of his personal interests to the Dáil, and he rejected Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald’s suggestions of a conflict of interest.

Ms McDonald claimed that Mr Reilly clearly had a direct conflict of interest, because he has investments in private medicine and nursing homes at a time when public beds were being closed.

She described as a farce the addition by Mr Reilly of extra proposed sites for primary care centres.

Ms McDonald asked whether or not junior health minister Roisin Shortall was aware of the additional criteria, including competition, cited by the Taoiseach.

Mr Kenny insisted that extra proposed sites were added to put pressure on the medical profession to co-operate.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin criticised the addition of extra primary care sites, including two in the minister's own constituency, saying that Ms Shortall "plays by the rules, but Minister Reilly doesn't".

Health Minister James Reilly and Minister of State Roisin Shortall met for a little over half an hour this evening in Leinster House.

A spokesperson for Minister Reilly said the two ministers meet on a regular basis but at scheduled meetings at the Department of Health involving the Management Committee and in bilateral meetings as required.

He said this evening that they discussed issues relating to primary care, and in particular Government plans to develop primary care centres nationally.

He added that the minsters are expected to meet again in the coming days.

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