A whistleblower’s warning that documents revealing unacceptable levels of chemical exposure in the Air Corps were deliberately destroyed was sent to the Department of Defence over a year before it looked for the documents — and discovered they are missing.
The Department of Defence only sought to find the documents after their alleged destruction was raised in the Dáil — more than 12 months after it received the whistleblower’s claim.
A protected disclosure sent to the then Minister of Defence Simon Coveney in December 2015 warned that a named senior member of the Air Corps destroyed reports, dating back to the 1990s, which raised concerns about the levels of toxic chemicals in workshops in Casement Aerodrome.
The same official was named in a subsequent disclosure by a second whistleblower who also alleged the documents were destroyed.
The years given by the whistleblower for the destroyed documents match those of inspection reports of Casement Aerodrome that the Department itself admits cannot be found.
When asked previously if there are plans to investigate the documents’ disappearance, junior defence minister Paul Kehoe has told the Dáil that he has been “advised by the military authorities that there are no plans to carry out an investigation into why these reports cannot be located.”
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