10th January 2021
Dear Deputy Berry,
Exactly six months ago on the 10th of June 2020, I wrote a registered letter to you asking for your assistance obtaining medical interventions for chronically ill Irish Air Corps personnel in an effort to reduce unnecessary suffering & untimely deaths.
I am disappointed that after six months I have had absolutely no response or follow up to this letter, not even an basic acknowledgement of receipt.
As a former Defence Forces officer and as a medical doctor I hoped that you were best placed to both understand & champion in the Oireachtas the best interests of those suffering a multitude of health effects from decades of unprotected toxic chemical exposure in what HSA inspectors told me was “the worst case of chemical misuse in the history of the state”.
As I have not heard from you I can only assume that I was wrong and that you either simply do not believe there are any health problems suffered by serving & former Air Corps personnel due workplace chemical exposure, or worse still, you acknowledge personnel have been injured but have no interest in helping them.
I would be grateful if you could please reply publicly to this open letter and while doing so could please answer the following.
- Do you believe Irish Air Corps survivors when they tell you that the Health & Safety Authority found serious non compliance with the Safety, Health & Welfare At Work Act 2005 in relation to basic chemical health & safety at Casement Aerodrome and that the same HSA threatened prosecution if their “advice” was not complied with?
- Do you accept that the Safety, Health and Welfare At Work Acts 1989 & 2005 were enacted by the state to protect workers from injuries and if an organisation failed to implement these same Acts for decades after they were enacted then the likelihood of injury to personnel is increased?
- If you do accept that the Irish Air Corps was not in compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare At Work Acts 1989 & 2005 and if you do accept that health and safety legislation is enacted to protect workers can you please explain why you have done nothing publically to raise awareness of the Irish Air Corps chemical exposure tragedy since you were elected to Dáil Eireann almost 1 year ago and why you have not mentioned it even once in your numerous chamber utterances or press releases.
I look forward to your response, if any.
Air Corps Chemical Abuse Survivors
Please find linked below a copy of my original letter to you and also a copy of the Health & Safety letter to the Air Corps dated October 2016 outlining urgent steps to be taken threatening legal action if they are ignored. The HSA letter was obtained under FOI.