Dáil Éireann Written Answers 24/11/20 – No plans by Minister Coveney to audit health of Irish Air Corps personnel despite proven Health & Safety failings

Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)


To ask the Minister for Defence his plans to carry out a full health audit of serving members of the Air Corps. [38582/20]

Simon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)

A comprehensive range of primary and secondary medical services are provided to all members of the Permanent Defence Force. This is to ensure that personnel are medically fit to undertake the duties assigned to them, and to treat any medical conditions arising which would inhibit their capacity to undertake such duties. This includes an annual medical examination which comprises a review of the individual’s medical history and a full physical examination.


Air Corps personnel have been badly served by the Medical Corps

  • Treated chemically injured personnel as malingerers.
  • Refused to refer injured personnel for specialised consultant care for complex illnesses.
  • Used the medical boarding system as a “HR resolution tool” to dismiss chemically injured personnel.
  • Disallowed the testimony of expert medical consultants at such medical boards used to dismiss even whistleblowers.
  • Admonished chemically injured personnel for using civilian doctors even sending  military ambulances to retrieve sick personnel from their homes.
  • Attempted to access medical records of chemically injured personnel in civilian hospitals without their consent.

It must be said that the negligence of engineering officers within the Formation Safety Office hindered the work of doctors on the ground at Baldonnel and wider afield. 

If the FSO had carried out chemical risk assessments, conducted with “proper vigor” by competent & trained personnel, they would in many instances have required risk specific health surveillance. Risks specific health surveillance would have given medics a “heads up” regarding symptoms of “at risk” illnesses.  This should in turn have lead to annual medical assessments more tailored to these risks than the “standard” annual medical that all members of the Defence Forces undergo. 


4 thoughts on “Dáil Éireann Written Answers 24/11/20 – No plans by Minister Coveney to audit health of Irish Air Corps personnel despite proven Health & Safety failings”

  1. Well seeing that as Simon has just this morning announced his granting of formal clearance for Santa to land at all bases in this Country, perhaps an ACCAS letter to Santa might be more effective!

    And if that doesn’t work why not make an early approach to our long lost favourite Uncle Joe (Biden) who is soon to take up residence in The White House. He’ll surely give you an answer by the time he makes his formal visit here and as his own words to RTE during the week were “you can ask me about Ireland anytime”. Of course, the inclusion of a mistreatment of Veterans (VETS) element might even have the desired purgative effect and get our Simon up n running on the matter, ever before Uncle Joe arrives on Air Force One.

    Chocks Awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

  2. And it also tends to prove the old adage that birds of a feather really do FLY together!

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