“Scant regard” shown for taxpayers money in handling of CMO Trinity role

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“Scant regard” was shown for taxpayers’ money in the handling of the proposed appointment of the Chief Medical Officer to a role at Trinity College Dublin, Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell has said.

Deputy Farrell said that nobody could take issue with the service that Dr Tony Holohan has put in as Chief Medical Officer throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said that it is disappointing to lose his expertise, and had his appointment to a professorship at Trinity College been done properly, it would have been a good one.

But the Sinn Féin TD said that the lack of transparency around the nature of the position and how it was to be funded has, correctly, meant it cannot proceed.

“Nonetheless, serious questions for the Minister for Health remain around how this debacle was handled; particularly relating to the funding of this position,” said Deputy Farrell.

“The published review conducted by the Secretary General contends that this was a HR matter, however the Taoiseach has said that it was not and that the government should have been made aware of this proposed appointment – even before the review was published.

“The proposed funding for research at Trinity College according to the review was intended to come from the Health Research Board.

“However, given they appear to have been unaware that this was the case raises all sorts of questions about the manner in which taxpayers’ money is regarded by the Department. We want answers to those questions.”