Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
QUESTION NO: 166
To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of University of Limerick students that had been sent to Baldonnel for work experience. 43321/18
Paul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
My Department facilitated work experience under the University of Limerick student Placement Programme for 3 students per year commencing in 1992 and ending with the 2008/2009 academic year.
- The 51 UL work experience students who served over 2 decades at Baldonnel shared substandard working conditions with military personnel at Baldonnel.
- UL work experience students were exposed in an unprotected manner to Trichlorethylene, Trichloroethane, Dichloromethane, Isocyanates, Hexavalent Chromium compounds and MANY more CMR chemical. WITHOUT any PPE. So no basic protection like gloves, no eye protection, no respiratory protection.
- UL work experience students were subject to hazing incidents (tubbings) just like their military counterparts.
- The University of Limerick have so far refused to notify the affected students that they may have been exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals with lifelong consequences.
- Of the admittedly small number of UL work experience students we have been able to track down, 2 out of 3 are suffering life changing illnesses consistent with illnesses suffered by their similarly exposed military colleagues.