Bannon voices support
for HSE enquiry

Longford Westmeath TD James Bannon has warned against the Indian Government or any other outside agencies for becoming embroiled in the wake of the controversy over Savita Halappanavar’s death. He also dismissed calls for a public inquiry into the case.

Longford Westmeath TD James Bannon has warned against the Indian Government or any other outside agencies for becoming embroiled in the wake of the controversy over Savita Halappanavar’s death. He also dismissed calls for a public inquiry into the case.

“There is already an (HSE) inquiry set up and while I understand his (Mr Halappanavar’s) frustration I would be of a different view,” he said, while also indicating that he remained fully supportive of the Government on the issue.

“Inquiries that have been set up in this country in the past have proved to be quite successful.”

Mr Bannon also made his feelings known about possible moves by Indian government officials to force through such a move.

“We are well capable of controlling our own affairs,” he told the Leader. “I don’t see why they should get involved, they have issues of our own.”

The Fine Gael TD was more guarded when giving his reaction to comments made by President Michael D Higgins.

Speaking during a three day trip to Liverpool and Manchester, Mr Higgins said that any investigation should meet the needs of the Halappanavar family.

When asked directly by the Leader on Thursday about those remarks, Mr Bannon declined to respond, saying: “I don’t want to comment on what our President has said. I know Michael D well and from his time in the Dail he was always seen to be a flamboyant character who wasn’t afraid to comment on various matters.”

Mr Bannon’s statement came on the same evening Fianna Fail health spokesman Billy Kelleher addressed members of the public at an open meeting inside the Longford Arms Hotel.

The Cork North Central TD re-iterated the stance of his party in calling for a full, independent inquiry.

Mr Kelleher d said more debate was needed once an expert group report chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan was formally disclosed. “Clearly we (Fianna Fail) are waiting for the report to be published,” he said. “We have to have an inquiry that satisfies the concerns of Parveen Halappanavar and his legal team. We said from the outset it couldn’t be a HSE inquiry after what the family had stated.”

The report was due to be discussed at cabinet level yesterday, Tuesday.