Fianna Fáil is calling on the Minister for Health to order the immediate publication of a report into the deaths of five babies at Portlaoise Hospital.

Party Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has raised concerns that there are deliberate attempts to hold the report back, amid suggestions that senior HSE management are implicated.

“It is unacceptable that more than a year since this report was commissioned, attempts are underway to further delay its publication. It is now up to Minister Varadkar to ensure that no deliberate efforts are made to avoid accountability for what happened to these babies,” said Deputy Kelleher.

“There could hardly be a more serious issue than the health and safety of our maternity units, where new life is brought into the world.  This report investigates serious questions surrounding the deaths of five babies and it is imperative that we have those questions answered now so that such tragedies can be avoided in the future.

“We cannot accept a situation where the HSE threatens legal action because it doesn’t like the findings of this report.  A dangerous precedent of avoiding responsibility could be set here.  I am urging the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to step in immediately and order the publication of this report without further delay.”