A group of former air corps personnel say they will campaign against junior defence minister Paul Kehoe’s re-election in his Wexford constituency in protest at his response to health and safety issues within the force.
The group, Air Corps Chemical Abuse Survivors, picketed outside Mr Kehoe’s constituency office in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, on Saturday, and have claimed that 19 of their former colleagues have died since whistle-blowers raised concerns three years ago.
Seven former air corps technicians are suing the State, alleging that their exposure to toxic solvents in the course of their duties has caused them to suffer from chronic illnesses including cancer.
“Both the Minister for Defence, Leo Varadkar, and the minister of state with responsibility for defence, Paul Kehoe, have failed to offer medical help to save the lives and ease the suffering of Air Corps Chemical Abuse Survivors and apparently believe the best place to get medical help is via the High Court,” said the protest group in a statement.
“In the meantime the State Claims Agency is doing all in its power to prevent cases of injured Air Corps personnel from reaching court in order to hide their own negligence.”
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