Leo Varadkar 'has to clarify' over sending GP document 'to his mate' - Sinn Féin


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.57 2 Nov 2020


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Sinn Féin have said Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has to answer questions over the sharing of a confidential document with one of his 'mates'.

Mr Varadkar admitted that he provided a copy of an Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) contract to the former president of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail.

He also has said that communicating the contract agreement "was not best practice".

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However he maintained that there was nothing unlawful about sharing this information, despite questions from the opposition about the timeline of events.

While Dr Ó Tuathail has said that "all GPs had a right" to access information on a programme for chronic disease management, which is at the centre of the controversy.

Louise O'Reilly, Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, told Newstalk Breakfast Mr Varadkar has to clarify what happened.

"It is a serious matter: the document that was shared with one of Leo Varadkar's mates was marked 'confidential, not for circulation.'

"So to me, looking at that I would see 'confidential, not for circulation' as a document that was indeed confidential and not to be circulated among my pals."

"[Dr Ó Tuathail was] a very senior person in a rival organisation, who indeed had a very material interest in getting that documentation, which wasn't in the public domain at the time."

Asked if this was perhaps to keep GPs in the loop of the deal, Ms Reilly replied: "They weren't kept in the loop, that's the point.

"We can see from a statement issued by the National Association of General Practitioners on the 29th of April, 'many GPs are waiting to see the details of the new deal before they renew their membership subscriptions. This has created financial difficulties for the NAGP'.

"So they are saying they didn't have it on the 29th of April.

"We also see their members on Twitter - a week or two weeks after the document had been sent to Maitiú Ó Tuathail - saying GPs need to see the deal."

"Obviously there was myself, Stephen Donnelly, Alan Kelly in the Dáil - asking the minister on the 16th of April, if we could have copies of the deal.

"So the important facts on this I think are that a document that was marked 'confidential, not for circulation' was sent to a person with a material interest in having that document by the Taoiseach... to somebody who was a close personal friend.

"I do think that represents very poor judgment".

"It's a matter that requires further clarification and questioning. And that's what we're going to be doing on Tuesday.

"I want to find out what the exact purpose was - what was the arrangement in place? Was he asked by the Minister for Health to circulate this documentation?

"And also: is the leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar, actually in the habit of circulating documentation like this, as a matter of course, is this something that he routinely does?".

Main image: Leo Varadkar speaking to media about on the first phase of the Government’s roadmap for lifting restrictions. Picture by: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

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Irish Medical Organisation Leo Varadkar Maitiú Ó Tuathail NAGP Sinn Fein

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