HSE Boss found out about Vicky Phelan on the news

Tony O'Brien says he wasn't made aware of her case before it went to court

HSE Boss found out about Vicky Phelan on the news

Tony O'Brien

The head of the HSE says he first found out about the Vicky Phelan case from the news.

Mrs Phelan, who’s now terminally ill, settled a case with a US lab last week after she was wrongly told she had no abnormality in a 2011 smear.

Now the Taoiseach says an inquiry into the Cervical Check programme will take place.

17 women who were part of an audit of the programme have died, but the HSE does not yet have a cause of death for them.

 Director General Tony O’Brien says the HSE is not responsible for ‘dragging people through the courts’;

"I found out about the entirety of the matter when I heard about it on RTE news.

It is little understood, that needs to be understood, that the HSE does not represent itself in any action sought, brought, seeking damages.

Under legislation the cases are defended by another agency of the state called the State Claims Agency, which has a statutory mandate top direct lawyers and determine the nature of the defence."