Pressure mounts for Irish Army Air Corps inquiry

There is growing pressure on the Government to launch an independent inquiry into the exposure of members of the Air Corps to cancer-causing toxins at Casement Aerodrome. Six members are suing the State, claiming their health was adversely affected due to working with hazardous chemicals.

An investigation by the Irish Examiner also revealed the Health & Safety Authority threatened to prosecute the Air Corps in 2016 unless it implemented improvements in the management of employees’ exposure to hazardous chemicals. It found staff did not have access to basic equipment, such as gloves, goggles, and protective clothing.

Calling in the Dáil for separate investigations, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin described the revelations and lack of response as a “serious scandal”. He also accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Government of trying to “bury” the controversy.

Read more on Irish Examiner Website

Safety body had to threaten Irish Army Air Corps before safety measures implemented

The Irish Army Air Corps had to be threatened with prosecution before it implemented safety procedures on the handling of dangerous chemicals and solvents, four years after the issue was first highlighted, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has claimed.

Read more on the Irish Times website

Irish Army Air Corps chemical safety failings have Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. under pressure at Leader’s Questions

Air Corps whistleblowers’ struggle for an investigation

Christmas week 2015, and as the country busied itself preparing for the festive season, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, defence minister Simon Coveney, and junior defence minister Paul Kehoe paid a pre-election visit to Irish troops serving peace-keeping operations in Lebanon and the Golan Heights.

Photographs released from the highly publicised trip saw the Taoiseach and his travelling party don blue helmets as they went to thank the troops and their families for their service.

However, not everyone was impressed with the visit.

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State to fight Irish Army Air Corps toxic exposure lawsuits

The State is facing at least six separate legal actions from former members of the Air Corps who allege they have suffered serious illnesses as a result of “chronic exposure” to the chemicals they came in contact with as a part of their daily duties.

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Health & Safety watchdog warned Irish Army Air Corps about safety risks

The Air Corps was told three months ago it needs to monitor its workers’ exposure to harmful substances, observe their health for early detection, and give them the equipment to protect themselves against chemical exposure.

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Irish Army Air Corps injuries summons lists 26 sample negligence claims

One plaintiff’s summons list contains 26 examples where they claim negligence, including that he was regularly required to use Trichloroethylene without any training as to how to use it, or the proper protective measures required to use it. Medical advice has attributed mental and physical health problems to exposure to such chemicals, writes Joe Leogue.

Read more on the Irish Examiner website