Take Simon Coveney’s name off the gate he’s back from AWOL

Where was Minister Simon Coveney for the past four Wednesdays in a row when the Chemical Exposure Scandal at the Irish Air Corps was being discussed.

Has his absence anything to do with the fact that he actively ignored the whistle-blowers and then lied about attempts by whistle blowers to contact him.

Numerous retired & serving personnel have died since Simon Coveney ran away from this issue.

Military accused of Irish Army Air Corps cover-up on safety

The military has been accused of a “cover-up” in relation to how it dealt with reports of exposure to dangerous substances within the Air Corps.

The Government has also been accused of “major inconsistencies” in its account of how ministers managed the whistle-blowers warnings of health and safety issues in the Air Corps.

It comes after the Irish Examiner revealed details of a damning health-and-safety report on working conditions at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel.

Speaking in the Dáil, Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh alleged that military authorities at Casement Aerodrome “did not take the required steps” when it was highlighted to them that dangerous chemicals existed.

Questioning the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe on when he first became aware of the health and safety concerns, Mr Ó Snodaigh said that it appeared that “there is a cover-up here”.

“I have seen health and safety reports going back as far as 1995, all of which pointed specifically to the issues that were addressed in the Examiner newspaper and which a number of deputies in this house have been raising with you.

“So this is not a new issue, this is a cover up because the military authorities in Casement Aerodrome did not take the required steps when it was highlighted to them that dangerous chemicals existed they didn’t take those steps,” Mr Ó Snodaigh claimed.

Read more on the Irish Examiner website

Further Questions but No Answers from Minister regarding Irish Air Corps Chemical Exposure Scandal

Mr V and The Defence Forces (FOI Act 2014)

Mr V and The Defence Forces (FOI Act 2014)

Case Number: 160138

Whether the Defence Forces was justified in refusing access to further records relating to the applicant’s request for risk assessments pertaining to the use of three specified chemical products, on the ground that no further records exist or can be found

Conducted in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act by Stephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator, who is authorised by the Information Commissioner to conduct this review.

Explainer : Under Health & Safety legislation Irish Army Air Corps must be in possession of risk assessments for all chemicals in use in the workplace. At the time of the FoI request in November 2015 this had NEVER been carried out even though it had been mandatory since 1989.

Irish Air Corps report a ‘horror story’

An Irish Examiner investigation into working conditions in the Air Corps has revealed a “horror story”, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Dáil yesterday.

Mr Martin made the comment as he called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to publish the Department of Defence’s procedures for handling protected disclosures following further revelations in this newspaper.

Yesterday, this newspaper reported the detail of text messages between chief whip Regina Doherty and a whistleblower who had warned the Government of Air Corps staff exposures to cancer-causing chemicals while working at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Co Dublin.

The whistle-blower had contacted Ms Doherty to seek her help in receiving confirmation from then- Defence Minister Simon Coveney that he had read the protected disclosure submitted in late 2015.

In January 2015 Ms Doherty passed a message on to the whistle-blower indicating that Mr Coveney would call him the next day.

Read more on the Irish Examiner Website

Government deaf to #IrishAirCorps Whistle-blowers

Minister says he is unaware of requests for direct contact, but texts suggest otherwise, writes Joe Leogue.

THE latest development in the Air Corps chemicals scandal raises serious questions about the Government’s attitudes to whistle-blowers, and highlights significant inconsistencies in its account of how it has managed the affair.

It is two weeks since the Irish Examiner revealed the details of a damning health-and-safety report on working conditions at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, and text messages seen by this newspaper add weight to opposition charges that the Government has tried to “bury” the affair by not engaging with those whistle-blowers who had previously raised health warnings about the Air Corps staff’s exposure to chemicals.

Former defence minister Simon Coveney has told the Irish Examiner he received legal advice not to meet whistle-blowers who had warned him of the Air Corps’ alleged failure to properly protect its staff from exposure to dangerous chemicals.
advertisement

However, Mr Coveney has failed to address a number of questions put to him, the most substantial being how he can claim to have been “unaware” of whistle-blowers wanting to hear directly from him when text messages from Chief Whip Regina Doherty suggest otherwise.

The “Baldonnel Shake” – Another human cost of the Irish Air Corps Toxic Chemical Health & Safety scandal

The medication helps me a lot (but has bad side affects in other ways) but it can’t get rid of all the symptoms.

Thanks to Trichloroethylene which we used unprotected and with no safety advice to clean aircraft parts, our nervous systems have been damaged to the point were they misfire.

This is one of the reasons one doctor though I had MS due to leg tremors . This is my left hand all the time but when I try to sit still I can feel it elsewhere. (Press HD)

PDFORRA waiting for reply on Irish Army Air Corps toxins exposure fears

The organisation representing members of the Defence Forces is still waiting for a reply after raising concerns about the exposure of members of the Air Corps to cancer- causing toxins.

PDFORRA wrote to both the Defence Forces and Department of Defence six months ago — prior to the publication of a damning Health and Safety Authority report on working conditions in Baldonnel — the details of which were revealed in an Irish Examiner investigation.

Ger Guinan, deputy general secretary of PDFORRA, said he became “acutely aware” of chemical exposure concerns having met with Dutch counterparts at a European Organisation of Military Associations (Euromil) conference last year.

Read more on Irish Examiner Website