Protecting little empires and big egos

On 23rd January 2008, I wrote that Mary Harney and the HSE were highly unlikely to accept any of the very generous offers made at the time by businesses and the general public to provide facilities for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers.

A spokesperson for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland confirmed on Liveline (Wednesday) yesterday that these ruthless and uncaring people in the HSE had indeed turned down all offers of help.

At the time CF sufferers were cynically told that the HSE didn’t want to accept portakabins and other help but rather wanted to provide long term permanent facilities.

We now learn that these facilities have been deferred for at least five years. Obviously, all the promises were nothing more than a ruthless delaying tactic until the controversy died down.

The brutal reality is that Mary Harney and the faceless HSE bureaucrats are more interested in protecting their little empires and big egos than saving the lives of very sick people.

Having completely lost confidence in Mary Harney and the HSE the CFAI have decided to take action into their own hands as the following article on the CFAI website makes clear.

Irish War Crimes

Are Human Lives The New Currency?

After years of empty and broken promises, the CFAI have lost total and utter confidence in the Department of Health, the HSE and Minister Harney and have decided to take action into their own hands.

Despite the severity of the issues and the simple request to have a Yes or No answer today by 5pm to the Question: Are the HSE/Department of Health going to honour the commitment given publicly in 2008 to fulfill the promise of having the CF Unit operational in St Vincent’s by 2010?

The only response back was a phone call at approximately 4pm to say that the Minister would not be able to deal with our communication until at least tomorrow afternoon. And at 4.40pm a generic email from Professor Drum’s office to say that they confirmed receipt of the letter.

It is obvious the contempt they are showing for young Irish people living and dying with CF, their families and loved ones. Orla Tinsley, CF Campaigner stated. It is degrading to everyone involved that they could not have the courtesy, urgency or even the efficiency to answer one simple question with one simple syllable.

National Chairperson Sean O’Kennedy, together with the National Council is not surprised by the total lack of respect for the young people with Cystic Fibrosis. We were fairly sure that the response we were going to get would be no response.

So we have already put our plans in place in case there was no reply. Over the next number of days we will be mounting a campaign both nationally and regionally to reverse the shocking and devastating decision that Minister Harney, the Department of Health, the HSE and Professor Drumm have made.

Sean added, the support from everyone, politicians on all sides of the Government, Medical Professionals, the general public and the media has been astounding and all are on board to wage a war against this injustice and Human Rights Issue.

The ultimate price of inefficiency, bureaucracy, politics, mismanagement and apathy is human lives. As Orla finished by asking Are human lives the new currency?

Further information on Cystic Fibrosis and the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland can be found on A further statement from the National Council of the CFAI will be issued tomorrow morning.