Sinn Féin Defence Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said the government must now initiate a comprehensive investigation into health and safety procedures at Casement Aerodrome and that its terms of reference must be broad enough to ensure it is able to examine the serious allegations made by serving and retired members’ of the Defence Forces.
“It is now time for the Government to act in the best interests of the Defence Forces and carry out a full review of health and safety protocols at Casement Aerodrome over the last three decades, which must be thorough, transparent and with terms of reference that allow for an in-depth examination of how chemicals and other toxic materials were managed.”
“It must also include the inclusion of oral testimonies from past and present personnel who served there and an independent assessment of their health and general well-being to ascertain if they have suffered as a result of their service at the base.
Please read the press release in full on the Sinn Féin website.
It should be pointed out that the state already has in its possession the “Chemical Exposure Report 1994-2005” which includes a review of chemical management as well as oral testimonies from serving personnel. This report actually predates the whistle-blower allegations and was created in 2014.
Unfortunately the report was carried out for the State Claims Agency with a view to fighting affected personnel in the High Court, rather than help ill serving & former personnel.
Even though “Chemical Exposure Report 1994-2005” has the potential to save lives, Minister Paul Kehoe refused to waive privilege or release the review when asked by Aengus Ó Snodaigh in a recent Parliamentary Question.
Please read the parliamentary question here.