Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Department of Health
405. To ask the Minister for Health the reason he refused to appoint an independent health specialist to investigate the dossier and the additional documents sent to him relating to persons (details supplied) in County Limerick on 31 December 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51584/19]
406. To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the dossier given to him by a Deputy (details supplied) in October 2018 on behalf of a family in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51586/19]
451. To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that by refusing to appoint an independent health expert to investigate the dossier sent to him in 2018 relating to persons (details supplied) in County Limerick, he is potentially putting the health of persons in County Limerick at risk; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that the dossier shows the way in which the investigation using section disease cluster protocol failed to carry out an independent and transparent investigation into the health section that will not be used to investigate the human health clusters from the proposed incinerator should it cause damage to human health; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51788/19]
452. To ask the Minister for Health if he sent the dossier that was given to him on behalf of persons (details supplied) in County Limerick in October 2018 to some of the persons that allegations were made against in the dossier; if they were in turn part of the group that advised him to refuse the persons a public inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51789/19]
453. To ask the Minister for Health if the additional documents sent to him on behalf of persons (details supplied) in County Limerick on 31 December 2018 relating to An Taoiseach when he was Minister for Health have been examined by him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51790/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 405, 406 and 451 to 453, inclusive, together.
Officials from my Department carried out a review of the dossier and additional documents submitted by the family concerned. The purpose of the review was to ascertain if the dossier provided contained new information in the first instance. Persons against whom allegations were made in the dossier did not carry out the review. The report of the review indicated that the dossier did not present any materially new information; it was deemed that it did not warrant an independent health specialist to investigate the issues further. The issues had been part of previous considerations and correspondence.
It is understood that the proposed incinerator to which the Deputy refers to is the proposed Mungert incinerator. The EPA is the competent authority for granting and enforcing Industrial Emissions Licences; the HSE is a statutory consultee in the licensing process and has the opportunity to make submissions on any health-related impacts of a proposed development.
The HSE reviewed and reported on the licensing application and also sought the expert advice of Public Health England -Centre for Radiation Chemical and Environmental Hazards (PHE-CRCE) in relation to the matter. I am advised that the HSE made a number of submissions; all submissions are in the public domain and available on the EPA website. The Disease Cluster Protocol would generally be triggered in the event of an investigation of a suspected cluster of adverse human events from a potential environmental cause.