Two former senior officials of the Blood Transfusion Service have been charged in relation to the Hepatitis C contaminated blood investigation.

They were charged at a preliminary hearing of the Dublin District Court this morning.

Dr Terry Walsh, former chief medical consultant, and Cecily Cunningham, a senior biochemist, were charged under section 23 of the Offences Against the Person Act.

The court heard that both Dr Walsh and Ms Cunningham 'unlawfully and maliciously caused a noxious thing, namely infected Anti D' to be used on seven mothers which caused them 'grievous bodily harm'.

The hearing, before Mr Justice Geoffrey Brown, heard how Dr Walsh and Ms Cunningham were arrested at their homes, were charged but made no comment.

The case has been adjourned until 24 September.

Counsel for Dr Walsh, Padraig Dwyer BL, asked why it had taken 26 years to bring the prosecution and why his clients had not been notified of developments for four and a half years after giving gardaí a statement.

Sergeant Kenny told the court he did not have any dealings with Dr Walsh and therefore could not answer the question.