Sunday, 20th May 2018
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MICHAEL GARLAND,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

"Off with her head!” "Off with her head!” is of course a line from that wonderful book "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, published in 1865. Written by the English author Charles Dodgson or to give him his more recognisable name, Lewis Carroll. A book that’s been read to millions of children at bedtime and no doubt still is. Enjoyed by every single parent, making each characters come to life, as they were finally getting the kids off to sleep. A darker commentary of literary nonsense, which some say still has relevance in today’s society.

Boy oh boy, we could do with The Queen of Hearts right now. With all the balderdash surrounding the debacle that is Cervical Check, will we actually see any heads rolling? The usual stock position of Government and Senior Department Officials is to blame someone else. Nobody appears to be accountable when it comes to asking the awkward questions. Our history in finding the actual person or persons liable, is like finding a needle in the proverbial haystack. This is not a recent phenomena either. Ireland’s incompetence in actually discovering "Who done it”, stretches a long, long way back, just like Kim Kardashian’s bootie! Just what Vicky Phelan has had to endure, is nothing short of appalling, atrocious and unspeakable. For our HSE to put this mother through a court case, shows contempt for this member of the public it should be protecting. As more and more information is released, we are now discovering that Vicky was asked to produce evidence that she had suffered loss and harm! You have to ask yourself, just who is advising these people in their ivory towers? The untouchable Senior Civil Servants, on this wee green isle, who have conspired to play political roulette with peoples’ lives. We can enjoy kicking the Minister for Health and also our hushed Taoiseach, on this matter. It’s the layers, upon layers of bureaucracy in the HSE that need to be kicked. Like so many others I know and fear that this will never happen. There are so many gate keepers in our Civil Service, it would be easier to discover the dark secrets of the Masonic Order, before we actually find out who was responsible.

The HSE believed that they had a case against Vicky Phelan. They somehow thought that it would be appropriate to drag her and her family through a very public court case. Having asked her to sign a pre-court gagging clause, they imagined she would capitulate, with the threat of her case being played out in the glare of the National media. Thankfully, Vicky stood up to the enormous pressure she must have been under and decided to fight. She wanted other women to know that they were not alone and they had a voice. Our Minister tells us that he has trust in the system and it’s the Management that concerns him? The very Management who felt it suitable and appropriate to collude maliciously, aided by costly lawyers, as they built their case. Just how much more evidence does the Minister need, to show that the HSE is rotten to the core, when protecting itself? Ireland has an inexcusable record, of not righting wrongs. Garda whistleblowers, the banking crisis, tribunal after tribunal and much more besides. Each and every injustice should be tackled and lessons inevitably learned. Alas, we never get to witness a fall from grace. Quite clearly heads should be rolling. Like the Hydra, there are far too many heads to cut off and not enough sharp knives to start the process.

In the UK, Senior Figures appear to be held accountable. We have just seen Amber Rudd, finally falling on not her own sword, but the sword of Theresa May. May was after all Home Secretary when "Immigration targets” were implemented. Perhaps Rudd lost the confidence of her senior department heads and it was they who plotted her downfall? No matter where you look or how you spin it, the real power of any Government, is in the hands of Senior Civil Servants. Over 200 women have been wronged and I have no doubt some have died, due to mismanagement. Just how many officials will be held to account? I fear very few.

"The HSE believed that they had a case against Vicky Phelan. They somehow thought that it would be appropriate to drag her and her family through a very public court case. Having asked her to sign a precourt gagging clause, they imagined she would capitulate, with the threat of her case being played out in the glare of the National media. Thankfully, Vicky stood up to the enormous pressure she must have been under and decided to fight. She wanted other women to know that they were not alone and they had a voice.

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